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05DJIBOUTI175 2005-02-17 14:00:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Djibouti
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					UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 000175 


State for AF, AF/E, AF/PD
London/Paris for Africa Watcher

E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) The Public Diplomacy section's Black History Month
programming continues to engage Djiboutian citizens with
such events as a gospel concert, a traveling poster show,
conversation groups, an essay contest and receptions. These
events have been successful with youth and have promoted
mutual understanding while forwarding our human rights and
good governance MPP goals.

2. (U) Embassy Djibouti opened its Black History Month
programming at the country's only university with a
traveling poster show featuring famous black Americans and
their biographies (in French). The show, which lasts a week
at each of its three venues, is in each case accompanied by
an event designed to bring Americans and Djiboutians
together. French language flyers chronicling important dates
in the American civil rights movement are distributed at
these events.

3. (U) To close first phase of the poster show, Public
Diplomacy held a concert at the University that featured
live, traditional African music, American gospel music and a
short discourse on the connections between the two.
Performers were a well-known Djiboutian musician and
soldiers from CJTF-HOA's Camp Lemonier. About 160 people
attended, including Djiboutian students and members of the
American civilian community.

4. (U) On February 10, the Embassy closed its essay
contest. High school and university students were invited to
submit 250 words on one of two themes: "How can education
influence positive change" or "How can tolerance encourage
progress?" The essays will be judged by a panel of American
staff and International Visitor alumni and prizes will be
awarded at a luncheon at the Ambassador's residence on
February 28.

5. (U) On Monday, February 14, the Public Affairs Officer
attended the inaugural meeting of an English language
conversation group aimed at English language teachers.
Topics included famous Black Americans and the point of
Black History Month, as well as the need to unify English
language curriculum in private night schools.

6. (U) Also on February 14 the poster show opened at
Embassy Djibouti. It was accompanied on February 16 by a
reception at the Ambassador's residence for all those
Djiboutians who have traveled to the U.S. on an USG-funded
program in the past five years or received U.S.-funded
training in Djibouti. Attendees included political figures,
teachers, military members, police officers, business
leaders and other members of civil society. In her speech to
the assembly, the Ambassador urged the formation of an
International Visitors alumni group, which would be involved
in Embassy programming and would independently develop means
of sharing their IV experience with fellow Djiboutians. The
idea seemed to be warmly received.

7. (U) Black History Month programming is continuing on
schedule, with the poster show moving on February 22 to an
artisan fair jointly sponsored by the Public Diplomacy and
Self-Help sections of the Embassy. A smaller version of the
show will be disbursed to the districts at that time. On
February 23 the Embassy will host a viewing of the film "To
Kill a Mockingbird" followed by a discussion panel. Finally,
on February 27, Djibouti Telecommunications will host a
reception to mark the poster show's last venue.