Africa Program Policy Briefs
A series of short publications covering timely and salient subjects to Africa and Africa-related policy.
Issues in this Series
U.S. policy toward Africa has been on autopilot for much of the past four years, following a laundry list of good intentions that established priorities for Africa’s well-being and U.S. security interests. However, a truly sustainable and forward-looking U.S. policy toward Africa should refocus attention on Africa’s opportunity as an economic powerhouse of the future, a strategy that combines both domestic self-interest and an opportunity to help Africa move forward.
This paper is intended to promote discussion as to the role that trade can play in speeding development in Africa and the possible steps that can be taken to enable Africa to participate more fully in the global market. It does not cover all the barriers to expanding trade by African countries. Other important topics – notably infrastructure, especially ports and roads, and corruption – are discussed in other conference papers. It also does not include issues that are not directly related to trade and which can only be dealt with in the longer term, such as improved health and education, which were critical components of the success of the Asian “tigers”.
The advent of democracy in 1994 came with the promise of a society whose race, political, economic and social relations would be the antithesis of what they had been under apartheid. The post-apartheid order would deliver what the ANC calls “a better life for all.” What has happened since the ANC came to power can best be summarized in three ways: First, there has been some improvement in the political, social and economic conditions of the majority. Second, democratic, policy and delivery deficits have emerged.
The perception that Africa takes a backseat to Asia in President Barack Obama’s foreign policy view obscures a compelling strategic landscape the administration could construct were it ever to elevate the attention it apportions to Africa.
Unprecedented numbers of young people in weak and war-torn African nations, in short, tend to be characterized by the gap between what most youth need and what governments and international donors think they need, not to mention what they actually get.
The Search for Antiseptic War: The Prospects and Perils of Drones for the United States, the Sahel and Beyond
The U.S. Government has made clear that stabilization missions requiring deployment of large numbers of personnel—military and civilian—are not on the agenda for the foreseeable future. Not only budget constraints but also sobering experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a strategic shift.
"The problem of violent conflict and the instability it creates remains a major global preoccupation, owing to the recognition that development can hardly take root in such settings and that conflict-affected states could be breeding grounds for all kinds of international insecurity."