Return to Common Sense
August 6, 2016
Section: Foreign – Africa
“The U.S. is getting little recognition for the tremendous progress being made by the HIV/AIDs initiative, and will only degrade diplomatic perception by getting involved in civil wars.”
“I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.” Nelson Mandela.
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent.
- It is composed of 11.7 million square miles and 20.3% of total land area.
- It contains 840 million people in 61 territories which is more than 12% of world’s population.
- By most estimates, Africa contains well over a thousand languages.
- Approximately 46.3% of all Africans are Christians and another 40.5% are Muslims.
- The climate of Africa ranges from tropical to subtropical.
- Failed government policies and political corruption have marked Africa’s history.
- Africa is the world's poorest inhabited continent.
- Global climate change has resulted in many widespread famines with inadequate distribution systems.
Africa also suffers from a variety of internal and external problems.
- Africa is composed of numerous third world countries that have been exploited through history.
o These third world countries have been exploited and underdeveloped.
- Political mismanagement has doomed many countries economies to poverty.
o Foreign aid has been diverted by corrupt and incompetent regimes to buy military equipment, pay off cronies, and keep oppressing people, while funding off shore accounts.
- An estimated 30 million Africans are infected with HIV/AID and 20 million have already died.
In 2000, The African Growth and Opportunity Act was designed to be the cornerstone of America’s economic interaction with Africa.
- The AGOA is limited to trade-preference arrangements between the U.S. and Africa.
- The AGOA could be used to set the stage for a free trade agreement (FTA).
Islamo-fascists are exploiting African unemployment and poverty to take over weak countries and implement Sharia law.
- In Nigeria, the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram terrorist organization surpassed ISIS as the deadliest terror group in the world in 2014.
- Al-Shabaab continues to terrorize Somalia and neighboring Kenya, and is trying to reinvigorate its recruitment of Americans.
- ISIS has established a significant beachhead in Libya, and has designs on the country’s lucrative oil fields, while al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and a rat’s nest of other armed groups destabilize northern Mali and other parts of the Sahel region.
- Muslim West African countries, Mauritania and Senegal, continues to enslave girls and women as sex slaves and trade them with Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, Libya, and Morocco.
- Eritrea and Ethiopia enable Islamic terrorists in other countries.
- Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda fear expansion of Islamic conflict to other East African countries.
- AFRICOM formed to focus military operations on security in the African theater, and integrate terrorist response with Global War on Terrorism.
In 2003 the United States committed to a $15 billion initiative to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa.
- 1.5 million people, scattered across 15 countries in Africa, Asia, and Caribbean, have received treatment.
- 10 million new cases of mother-to-child HIV transmission have been prevented.
- Initiative has been expanded to tackle malaria with a goal to cut malaria deaths in half.
The developed world has committed to help Africa promote its own development.
- A recent global slump in commodity demand is bringing economic challenges to the significant number of African economies that are overly reliant on commodity exports.
- Zambia is in economic free-fall as copper prices tank, while major economies such as Angola and Nigeria are scrambling to plug budget shortfalls due to the plummeting price of oil.
- The World Bank estimates that sub-Saharan Africa grew at a 4.2% clip in 2015, although that is down significantly from the 6.4% average growth it enjoyed from 2002–2008.
- Africa Financial Sector Initiative (AFSI) provides technical assistance and private equity funds for underserved markets.
Major super powers are looking to cement relationships in Africa.
- In 2009, China overtook the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner.
- In 2015, China announced its first overseas military outpost in Djibouti.
- In 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping double China’s previous aid pledge to Africa by promising $60 billion over three years.
- Russia’s trade with Africa increased by more than tenfold between 2000 an 2012.
- Russia needs some African natural resources, but is also pursuing commodities such as oil and natural gas as a hedge against Western diplomatic and economic pressure.
Rwanda has grown with low personal taxes, low corporate taxes, and business facilitation.
- Rwanda was rated No. 1 reformer in the world in 2009.
- World Bank ranked Rwanda tied with America as ninth-easiest country in which to start a business.
- Rwanda has grown an average of 8% annually since 2004.
- Foreign aid has been reduced to 40% of government budget in Rwanda.
- The Rwanda Development Board offers a one-stop business registration process.
- Rwanda has privatized 72 state-owned businesses in 2010.
- Rwanda still suffers from 18-24% interest rates.
- Credit cards are rarely accepted.
- Per capita GDP still lags other countries in Africa.
Shift US focus from one of benefactor to one of partnership.
Redefine the conflicts in Africa as another major theater in the Global War on Terror.
- Identify counterterrorism as the overriding U.S. security priority for the region.
- De-legitimize the immorality and hypocrisy of Islamic fundamentalists.
- Label terrorists as the cowards and “useful idiots” that they are.
- Promote the values of Western democratic modernity.
- Encourage moderate Muslims to condemn terror as a tactic and Islamo-fascism as the cause.
Reinforce the importance of democratic governance in Africa and publicly support the region’s democratic standard bearers.
- Increase the diplomatic profile of the United States in Africa.
- Encourage grass roots economic development and peer-to-peer assistance programs.
- Encourage human rights, democratic principles, and good governance.
- Promote security cooperation in the region.
- Coordinate strategy with military forces, AFRICOM.
Renew and Upgrade African Growth and Opportunity Act.
- Target businesses by country, by sector, and by business.
- Shift traditional development assistance to Millennium Challenge Corporation and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tropical diseases.
- Encourage efforts to root out corruption.
- Pursue fundamental reforms of America’s food assistance programs that would increase efficiency and effectiveness.
- Help develop energy resources.
“Ten Things that Africa Can Do for Itself” by Greg Mills dated February 27, 2006 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Africa/hl923.cfm .
“An African Taliban” by David McCormack dated October 4, 2006 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTQwNGQwOTFjZGU5MGQwZTUwYTFiZjMxZTdlZjUwYWM= .
“A Hard Wound to MEND” by Kyle Dabruzzi dated November 9, 2006 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25371 .
“What is Ghana’s Secret?” Kathryn Boateng dated March 6, 2007 published by American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2007/march-0307/what-is-ghana2019s-secret .
“The Crisis in Zimbabwe: How the U.S. Should Respond” by Brett D. Schaefer dated March 23, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Africa/wm1407.cfm .
“A Private War on Poverty: Peer-to-Peer Development” by David Rusin dated April 18, 2007 published by TCS Daily at http://www.tcsdaily.com/printArticle.aspx?ID=041207D .
“Horn hotbed” by Peter Brookes dated May 2007 published by Armed Forces Journal at http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2007/05/2670146 .
“Genocide Doesn’t Just Happen” by Nina Shea dated June 1, 2007 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjI0ZTY0MTViYzQ3YTI1MzUxYmQ5NDQ5NWJjOTg2NGM= .
“Profit for the Poorest” by Apoorva Shah dated June 13, 2007 published by American Magazine at http://www.american.com/archive/2007/june-0607/profit-for-the-poorest .
“What Bono doesn’t say about Africa” by William Easterly dated July 6, 2007 published by Los Angeles Times at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-easterly6jul06,0,6188154.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail .
“Defeating Terrorism in Africa” by Alan W. Dowd, dated August 27, 2007 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=C06FBA85-2B84-4E4E-803A-BBC8AE2C768C .
“Into Africa” by Joseph Loconte dated February 20, 2008 published by The Weekly Standard at http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/766sqpli.asp .
“Only Africans Can Solve Africa’s Problems” by Walter E. Williams dated February 25, 2008 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=288833608197579 .
“U.S. Africa Command: Challenges and Opportunities” by Brett D. Schaefer and Mackenzie M. Eaglen dated March 21, 2008 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/bg2118.cfm .
“Into Africa: Bush Initiatives That Deserve Continuing Support” by Thomas M. Woods dated October 31, 2008 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Africa/bg2204.cfm .
“As America Dithers…” by Deroy Murdock dated December 13, 2010 published by Human Events at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=40542 .
“Let My People Go” by Jerrold L. Sobel dated April 27, 2013 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/04/let_my_people_go.html .
“Time to Transform the African Growth and Opportunity Act” by Charlotte Florance dated August 22, 2013 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://blog.heritage.org/2013/08/22/time-to-transform-the-african-growth-and-opportunity-act/ .
“Seven Ways the U.S. Could Help” by Brett Schaefer dated August 4, 2014 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://dailysignal.com/2014/08/04/obama-administration-needs-stop-ignoring-africa-seven-ways-u-s-help/ .
“Four U.S. Policy Priorities for Africa in 2016” by Joshua Meservey dated January 15, 2016 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2016/01/four-us-policy-priorities-for-africa-in-2016 .