Africa Regional Services (ARS), located in Paris, is a division of AF/PDPA, the African Affairs Bureau’s Office of Public Diplomacy in Washington. ARS is the primary source of public diplomacy services and products in French for U.S. Missions in Africa. ARS provides programming support for all AF posts, and limited services to Haiti, the Maghreb, and Lusophone posts.
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Speakers and Artists
U.S. Speakers and Artists Program
ARS identifies American professionals, resident in Europe and available for programming, to conduct digital as well as traveling U.S. speaker programs for U.S. Missions in Africa.
U.S. Embassies use Africa Regional Services (ARS) U.S. Speaker and Artist Program to explain American perspectives on a wide range of topics using independent American experts who participate in lectures, seminars, workshops, events, and conferences with African publics. These exchanges promote a better understanding of American values and policies.
ARS programs speakers in two formats: In person, by traveling to specific locations in Africa, and virtually by Zoom.
ARS U.S. speakers and artists help U.S. Embassies meet U.S. foreign policy goals through public diplomacy. Speakers come from a variety of backgrounds such as business, health, education, journalism, and other fields. Artists come from dance, music, storytelling, and other professions. ARS funds the programs and ensures the logistics for participating speakers and artists.
Interested in applying to ARS U.S. Speakers and Artists program?
It’s an open competition for U.S. citizen individuals to submit a statement of interest (SOI) to be considered for a small grant as a guest speaker or artist to conduct outreach activities that enhance the understanding of the United States in sub–Saharan Africa. The submission of the SOI is the first step in a two-step process. Applicants must first submit a concise one-page statement of interest designed to clearly communicate their area of expertise, credentials, and language ability and attach a CV or resume.
The purpose of the SOI is to allow applicants to submit their credentials for consideration of inclusion on ARS’ roster of available speakers who will collaborate with U.S. embassies and consulates in sub-Saharan Africa to reach target audiences.
Upon a merit review of eligible SOIs, selected applicants will be notified of their inclusion on the ARS roster. The second step begins once names are included on the roster. The second step is the selection by staff of ARS and Embassies and consulates for a specific program and is based on specific objectives, audience, and subject matter. All programs must include U.S. elements such as materials, case studies, or cultural elements that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policy and perspectives.
Closing date is September 30, 2023.
Questions? Contact us at ARSSpeaker@state.gov.
Books and Webographies
ARS manages three flagship book programs, Nouveaux Horizons, Books in French, and Books in Portuguese.
Under the Nouveaux Horizons imprint, ARS publishes books by American authors translated into French for sale and distribution in francophone Africa, the Maghreb, and Haiti. Under the Books in French and the Books in Portuguese programs, ARS distributes American-authored books in the French and Portuguese languages to U.S. embassies as well as webographies in French.
Nouveaux Horizons is ARS’s book publishing department, which publishes books by American authors in French, sells them to booksellers throughout francophone Africa, the Maghreb, and Haiti, and distributes copies to U.S. Embassies. Nouveaux Horizons publishes about 30 new titles each year on topics including leadership and management, media, democracy, science, education, and American civilization, and publishes a wide range of titles for children and youth.
Check out the New Horizons (nouveaux horizons) page in French to find out more, and to access our general and youth catalogs.
Books in French
ARS also sends books by American authors translated into French to U.S. Embassy-sponsored American Spaces in francophone Africa, the Maghreb, and Haiti. Check out the Books in French page to find out more.
Free Online Resources
ARS designs webographies, i.e., bibliographies of free resources on the internet in French, on topics that address U.S. foreign policy objectives and concerns.
Books in Portuguese
ARS provides American Spaces in Lusophone Africa with books in Portuguese.
ARS promotes understanding of U.S. policy toward Africa through international media engagement. In partnership with AF/PDPA and the U.S.-Africa Regional Media Hub in Johannesburg, ARS conducts and arranges interviews, press conferences and media briefings with U.S. officials on issues related to U.S. policy toward Africa with French and Europe-based Pan African media.
ARS engages with African journalists based in France and other journalists covering African issues. ARS creates opportunities for local journalists to interview American government officials in Washington, in U.S. embassies on the continent upon request, or in-transit through Paris to discuss U.S. government policy toward sub-Saharan Africa. ARS also distributes press releases, official statements, and announcements of telephonic press briefings.
Are You a Journalist?
Do you wish to be alerted of press events we organize? Email us at ARSPress@state.gov.
Reminder to Members of the Press Going to the United States
An I visa is required for all representatives of foreign media, print, radio, TV or any other media if they intend to work as a journalist during their visit to the United States.
This applies to all non-American journalists, for reporting, working on documentaries, producing videos, and/or any other work in connection with media while in the United States.
Please check the Consular page of the U.S. Embassy in France for further information about the visa process.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Every year, participants from around the world travel to the United States to meet their American counterparts and discover the country. The three-week visit allows participants to travel to different states, to visit a variety of public and private organizations related to their professional interest, and to participate in social and cultural activities. ARS selects visitors through an internal nomination process, which is not open to the public. Over the past 30 years, more than 500 Paris-based African-born journalists have participated in the IVLP.
More information about the International Visitor Leadership Program can be found here: