Trump administration ready to disengage from the African continent

By George Bamu on March 5, 2017

The New York Times

A rail project by a Chinese construction company in Lagos, Nigeria in 2015. The Trump transition team asks, “How does U.S. business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out to the Chinese?”

This week we learned the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump has proposed a budget that would cut foreign aid drastically. The issues, facts, and implications of decisions made under the administration are inescapable.

The State Department, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would be greatly impacted by these cuts. If you are not aware, the State Department shapes U.S.…

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In Case You Missed It: 4/4/16 – 4/10/16

By Raevyn Goates on April 11, 2016

Reuters

Many people displaced by violence in Darfur are not registered to vote.

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and about Africa, for those who need help catching up.

In this week’s news, Darfur decides to vote on their political future, Nigeria looks to the cosmos, and Ethiopia turns to bamboo for economic boost.

Darfur Holds Controversial Election

Darfur, a Western part of Sudan, is holding a vote to decide if the region will remain divided as five states or if they will unite as a single state.

Proponents of a united Darfur have suggested that it will give the region a stronger role in Sudanese politics.…

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Why The Next U.S. President Should Forge Stronger Ties with Africa

By Raevyn Goates on April 8, 2016

DIPNOTE-U.S. Department of State

Nigerians Vote in Kaduna, Nigeria, in the Country’s March 2015 Presidential Elections

For the seven years or so that he’s been in office, U.S. President, Barack Obama has focused on the African continent. This is something that is not talked about much, despite such accomplishments as holding the first US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in 2014. Before him, President George W. Bush was praised for his Africa policy.

Since the beginning of the 2016 U.S. election season we at Africa Agenda have paid attention to Africa-related issues that have come up in the debates, interviews and town-hall meetings in which the candidates have participated.…

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In Case You Missed It: 11/30/15 – 12/6/15

By Raevyn Goates on December 7, 2015

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.

This week, the Africa Pavilion at COP21 kicks off, China gives $60 billion in aid to Africa, and Libya takes steps towards peace.

iisd reporting services

President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin attends the Africa Pavilion at COP21

  1. Africa Pavilion at COP21 Begins

A panel comprised of African heads of state, government officials, and representatives of businesses and institutions officially opened the African Pavilion at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris this week. Among the speakers were President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, who discussed the potential effects of climate change on African economies and development.…

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In Case You Missed It 6/07/15 – 6/14/15

By Sarah Ford on June 16, 2015

People get busy, and it can be hard to keep up with the week’s news. To help you keep up with the latest news coming out of Africa, we will now compile a weekly list of the most important stories from think pieces, to opinion pieces to important developing stories. We hope it will be helpful in sorting out the important stuff in a world inundated with information and breaking headlines, and bring your attention to the issues that may not have gotten the most coverage during the week.

This week, we start off with a look at U.S. relationship building in Africa through investments, the larger implications of Goodluck Jonathan’s peaceful transition of power, and a controversial return.

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Is there such a thing as a U.S. Pivot towards Africa?

By George Bamu on July 6, 2014

Over the next few years China will build a multi-billion dollar railway linking the Kenyan port of Mombasa to Nairobi (shown here), based on an agreement signed earlier this month by East African and Chinese officials. It's one of many examples of China's increasing economic engagement with African countries.

The past few months and weeks have been interesting as far as African news is concerned. Here are some of the more compelling Africa headline stories that have piqued my interest.

U.S. Shows new interest in Africa

Random House

Howard French: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa

In an analysis of relations between the United States and African countries, Deutsche Welle (DW) the German broadcaster, says, “There is no doubt that Africa is attracting greater interest in U.S. politics. For a long time the continent was seen only as a source for armed conflict, disasters and famine”

That perception may have changed.…

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Opinion: U.S. Politics, Leave Mali Alone!

By George Bamu on October 27, 2012

BBC News/Getty Images

Mali’s civilian leader; President Dioncounda Traore (left) with Prime Minister Diarra

The idea that Mali is a snap shot of what goes on in Africa is a crazy one.  It’s a crazy idea because Mali is the newest impression when talk of Africa comes up at any moment. At least that’s what happens when Americans continue to see Africa from the lens of one fractured African nation.

Problem is, there are not many fractured or disintegrated African nations left in 2012.

By contract, most African nations today, two-thirds of which lie below the Sahara, are fully functional entities, with legitimate and stable governments and institutions in place.…

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Ignoring Africa during U.S. Elections won’t make it go away

By George Bamu on August 11, 2012

AP

Barack Obama/Mitt Romney

As Election Day in America draws close, U.S. voters are asking their candidates for office all sorts of questions. Some are questions the candidates and their campaigns don’t like or want to address right now. For example: What would you do about too many guns in the hands of Americans. That’s the question that has popped up in reaction to the recent shootings in Colorado and Wisconsin.

Yet, the ears of the world is tuned in to U.S. politics, as people listen and watch the spectacle of American democracy in action, the attack ads in the media, the machinations of Super PACs and money wars, plus the will of voters to vote as they please, to elect the leader of the free world.…

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America or China. Who will win the battle for Africa’s heart?

By George Bamu on August 2, 2012

POLITICO

U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton with Senegalese President, Macky Sall

A lot of news has been reported about the work that the Chinese are doing in Africa. Granted, these are well researched news reports from trusted sources. The news has come from the likes of The Economist, BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Fortune, Newsweek, Time and many others. These publications are read and taken seriously by the public.

And the news that is conveyed in these publications is getting better by the day, especially about the huge transformation that is taking place in Africa, thanks in some measure to investments from world powers such as the U.S.…

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Why is this man going to Africa?

By George Bamu on April 22, 2006

Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China

Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China just wrapped up a visit to the U.S. April 21, 2006. I love the people of China and respect them for their ingenuity and talents.

President Hu’s visit reminded me of my Chinese friend and room-mate of several years ago, James Song, with whom I had the opportunity to celebrate a Chinese new year.

James lived and worked in the US as a software engineer and was very wise and frugal in his living.

This visit to America by President Hu was said to be good and bad for America.…

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