FRANKFORT, Ky. – Soldiers with the Kentucky National Guard's legal team hosted Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali of the Malawi Defense Force, for a 2-day visit that included a tour of Kentucky's Capital building and presentations to Guardsmen Apr. 21-22.
Kuwali, the Chief of Legal Services and Judge Advocate General, crossed paths with Kentucky's Army and Air Guard Staff Judge Advocates, Col. Joyce Gordon, 123rd Air Wing, and Col. Jason Shepherd, Joint Force Headquarters, Army, while attending the African Military Law Forum (AMLF) in 2019. Their friendship solidified when the topics of fishing and tobacco came up.
"We have been fascinated with the number of connections Kentucky and Malawi have and how small this planet is," said Shepherd. "One of the employees from the governor's office is from Malawi. When we arrived at the capital, and Brig Gen. Kuwali heard the native greeting in Chichewa (Malawi's native dialect), there were immediate smiles before realizing he knew her father 'and her brother,' interjected Kuwali from his seat. Very much like Kentucky," Shepherd laughed.
Through a recent AMLF , Shepherd learned that Kuwali is attending the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
It was then that Shepherd and Gordon felt led to take advantage of proximity by inviting Kuwali to speak to the Kentucky Guard’s legal affiliates and the organization's key leaders.
After collaborating with Ms. Sandra Franzblau and the United States Africa Command legal engagements teams, the proposal was in motion to select the presentation and dates.
Shepherd and his colleagues selected a presentation that would be relevant to Kentucky's State Partnership Program in Djibouti. Brig. Gen. Kuwali discussed opportunities for the United States to use soft power in Africa to balance against China's widespread soft power engagements on the continent.
"This is not meant just for lawyers," said Fransblau. "This is meant for everybody to understand why it is important and how it affects them now."
The following is an outline of the presentation by Brig. Gen. Dan Kuwali, LL. D.
To watch Taming the Tiger: Countering China's Influence in Africa: https://youtu.be/MrjEm005rFw
The presentation argues that to counter the deleterious effects of Chinese presence in Africa, the United States should harness its influence by focusing on sectors that Beijing has ignored, such as strengthening security sector governance, building peace support capability, improving Africa's human resource capabilities and investment in agriculture, which can also contribute to women's and youth empowerment.
Its thesis states that instead of exacerbating the antagonism in strategic competition, the U.S. should adopt a strategy of calibrated cooperation where Washington can cement its global leadership role to advance compliance with international norms and sustainable development thereby compelling Beijing to follow suit.
The conclusion and policy recommendations in this presentation will assist the U.S. in devising strategies for supporting African countries while deterring Chinese hostile statecraft and geopolitical influence on the continent.
In addition to speaking on the effects of Chinese Presence in Africa, Kuwali discussed his insights on African Crises.
To watch the entire presentation of Insider's Insights: African Crises: https://youtu.be/W7N_S94O82o
Kuwali is a professor of International Law and International Relations at the University of Pretoria and visiting professor at Lund University, Sweden where he also earned his Master's and Doctoral degrees in International Law.
He has been a Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and has served as a Legal Advisor in the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Currently, he is a Fellow and Scholar at the United States War College in Pennsylvania. He is a founding member of the African Military Law Forum and the current Chair of its Governing Council.
Professor Kuwali has published extensively, including several books and dozens of peer-reviewed articles. His most recent publications include the Oxford Bibliography on The Use of Force for Protection of Human Rights in Africa and The Palgrave Handbook on Sustainable Peace and Security in Africa.
Upon concluding the engagement, Kuwali returned to Pennsylvania to continue his mission with the Army War College. The sixth African Military Law Forum is scheduled to occur later this year in Botswana, Africa.