I lost my dear friend Howard Wolpe this week. Many of you might not know that name, but he was one of the heroes of making U.S. policy toward Africa more compassionate. I first met him when he was a congressman, when he was chair of the Africa subcommittee during the Reagan years. He was relentless in pushing for anti-apartheid legislation, an end to U.S. covert funding to UNITA in Angola, and other important human rights causes. He became an envoy to the Great Lakes under President Bill Clinton, and literally worked 16 hours a day for years in support of peace in Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi.
I had the honor of traveling with him frequently all over the Great Lakes region, leaving no stone unturned in the search for peace. His health has been failing in recent years, and he sometimes had a difficult time carrying out all his duties working as an advisor to Secretary Hillary Clinton. But he never quit. Right up to the end. Howard made an immense contribution to Africa. We will miss him dearly.
Photo: Howard Wolpe, then a gubernatorial candidate in Michigan, with President Clinton in 1994 (AP)