U.S. Cannot Afford To Ignore Africa In Its Foreign Policies
In this Foreign Affairs opinion piece, Todd Moss, vice president and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and former deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of African Affairs at the State Department, reflects on President Obama’s approach to Africa, discussing various policies by the current and previous administrations. Moss compares Obama’s approach to Africa with that of his predecessors, highlighting former President Bill Clinton’s African Growth and Opportunity Act, “which reduced trade barriers on more than 1,800 products exported from the continent to the United States,” and former President George W. Bush’s launching of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
“In contrast, most of Obama’s high-profile efforts have been washouts,” Moss writes. “Launched in 2009, the Global Health Initiative was supposed to broaden U.S. health investments beyond single diseases to cover health systems,” but “it has largely been abandoned because of overreach and a distinct lack of political support,” Moss continues. “All this suggests that the White House has, at best, overlooked Africa’s significance or, at worst, consciously downgraded it on the list of priorities,” he writes, and concludes, “Ultimately, the United States cannot afford to ignore Africa. And rather than viewing the continent as a problem to be solved, the next administration should do something radical: treat Africa with the attention it now deserves” (10/1).