The Santa Fe World Affairs Forum aims to broaden and deepen understanding of world affairs through small, interactive, professionally led sessions on international issues for a membership of informed individuals.

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Africa’s Petroleum Boom: Blessing or Curse?

February 26, 2016 

Mark L. Asquino: US Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea, 2012-15

Several Sub-Saharan African nations have been experiencing an unprecedented influx of riches as a result of the exportation abroad of their oil and gas.  Equatorial Guinea, where Mark Asquino was Ambassador until October, is the third largest petroleum Sub-Saharan producer today.  On the other side of the continent, the Sudan – where Ambassador Asquino previously served, is another.  The two top producers, however, are Nigeria and Angola which he will also discuss.  On the one hand, the riches accrued from petroleum exports have made these countries far wealthier than their wildest dreams.  On the other, money isn’t everything.  What are the pluses and minuses of Africa’s petroleum gold mine, who benefits, who loses and how best can these countries cope?

Annual Symposium


Crisis in Human Migration: A New World of Walls?

April 18-19, 2016


The nightly news is filled with reports of unprecedented flows of people who have abandoned their homes and countries in hopes of better lives abroad. The most visible passages today are of people from war torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, often in overcrowded boats to the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios and Kos, then by land through the Balkans en route to Germany and Sweden and other nations where jobs are more plentiful and the economies stronger.  Recent years have seen the same need for jobs and safety drawing many Africans and North Africans across the Mediterranean in perilous voyages to Italy and Spain and further north. But other regions—North America  Southeast Asia and Australia—are also dealing with refugees fleeing failing countries, gang warfare and civil wars across the globe.

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