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  Rob McCaleb presents A-SNAPP program for sustainable herb cultivation at the National Summit on Africa

February 20, 2000: Rob McCaleb, President of the Boulder, Colorado-based Herb Research Foundation, participated in the National Summit on Africa in Washington DC. More than 5,000 people gathered at this ground-breaking event to develop a comprehensive plan for US-Africa relations. Attending the event were US and African officials, non-profit organizations, business leaders, academics, and the public. The summit addressed issues of sustainable economic development, trade, and investment, as well as those of democracy and human rights; peace and security; education and culture; quality of life, and the environment. Africa is currently the world's fastest growing region in economic terms, according to a 1999 report by the World Bank.

Rob McCaleb and Purdue University's James Simon, PhD. addressed the February 18 session entitled "Teaming Large US Agribusiness With African Small Farmers: A Win-Win Situation," sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). McCaleb introduced A-SNAPP (Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products), an alliance that was created to develop sustainable and economically successful natural products agribusinesses in rural African communities. The Herb Research Foundation is the primary coordinator for the project. A-SNAPP partners include Purdue University and the South African Agricultural Research Council (ARC), with funding provided by USAID. Jim Simon, PhD of Purdue University will also speak about A-SNAPP and his work in assisting African growers with new crop development.

During the summit, 2100 delegates selected and finalized policy recommendations proposed at one of five regional summits, held from May 1998 to September 1999. The Herb Research Foundation successfully introduced a recommendation at the Mountain/Southwest Regional Summit in Denver on September 24-25, 1999 presenting the need for strengthening rural health care in Africa by exploring, encouraging, and improving the use of traditional plant-based medicines.

Over the course of the five-day summit, participants enjoyed an exciting mix of cultural events, policy debates, and seminars on topics such as fighting desertification in Africa and conflict resolution and democratization. One of the highlights of the event was a televised roundtable on February 16, analyzing the past, present and future of US foreign policy toward Africa, moderated by CNN Correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault. World leaders and experts on African affairs participated in the thought-provoking discussion, which will be edited and aired later. Other highlights included a candlelight march from the White House to the Capitol steps in honor and celebration of Africa; an African dance and musical extravaganza at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and a presidential candidates forum on US foreign policy toward Africa.

HRF Press Release
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