President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney- Their views on Africa

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney- Their views on Africa

African countries hold great promise despite the many years of conflict, poverty, and misrule that followed their emergence as independent states. With abundant natural resources, an increasingly educated and dynamic population striving for a better life, and governments embracing political and economic reforms, Africa is now home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
While Africa currently represents less than two percent of global economic activity, that will change. Global demand for Africa’s natural resources will grow. Demographics indicate that by 2050, Africa’s population will double to two billion and one in four workers on the planet will be African. These trends, when coupled with robust economic growth, point to the emergence of stronger economic actors on the world stage and greater partnership opportunities for the United States. While Africa is changing, global competitors like China are taking advantage of these changes and are rapidly outmaneuvering the United States by making strategic inroads throughout the continent and gaining an economic and political advantage over the United States.
At the same time, a number of challenges in Africa still remain unresolved. Extremism and piracy emanate from Somalia. Brutal or inept regimes in places like Sudan, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are causing misery for their people. Islamist terrorists in Nigeria and the Sahara threaten vast regions, and some have forged troubling alliances with drug smugglers, human traffickers, and other transnational criminal networks.
Obama’s Failure
After holding great expectations for the Obama administration, our African partners have been deeply disappointed. President Obama has failed to exercise American leadership to mobilize the international community to address pressing issues, seize rising opportunities, and strengthen liberty and prosperity throughout Africa. While the initiative begun by the previous administration to help South Sudan achieve its independence was completed during President Obama’s term, the President has failed to resolutely confront ongoing atrocities by the dictatorship in Khartoum. And it has failed to strengthen a once promising alliance with South Sudan, allowing other actors like China to begin supplanting U.S. influence and advance a value-free “development” model to their own economic and strategic benefit. Somalia remains mired in anarchy with al-Qaeda linked terrorists controlling a significant portion of the country. Mass rapes and human rights abuses continue in Congo.
Mitt’s Plan
Bolster Economic Ties And The Rule Of Law
The United States must regard Africa not as a problem to be contained, but as an opportunity to be embraced by us and our partners on the continent. Recognizing that Africa’s road to stability and prosperity lies through a robust private sector economy, increased trade, and good governance, a Romney administration will encourage and assist African nations to adopt policies that create business-friendly environments and combat governmental corruption. Such policies will lift those nations and their people, boost economic ties to the United States, and provide greater certainty to U.S. and international investors. Greater market access across the continent for U.S. businesses will bolster job creation in Africa as well as in the United States.
Lead On Issues Of Security And Human Rights
Mitt Romney will also provide the leadership required to help resolve Africa’s long-running conflicts, pressure the remaining despots who abuse their own people, and weaken terrorist groups that threaten U.S. interests and those of our partners. He will pursue strong cooperative military and diplomatic relationships to ensure security interests on the continent and in the seafaring trade routes off its shores. These relationships will help strengthen the capacity of African nations and regional organizations to foster stability, engage in peacekeeping, and confront terror.
Mitt Romney will lead on the issue of Sudan’s ongoing atrocities. He recognizes that far too many Sudanese for far too long far have been the victims of war crimes and other atrocities committed by the government in Khartoum and its proxies. Continuing a history of violence and genocide, Khartoum has committed a range of atrocities in border regions since the independence of the Republic of South Sudan. It has incited and armed rebel groups with the apparent objective of undermining the new country. It has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars in oil, which is Sudan’s chief source of income. In both Darfur and in the border areas, Khartoum has too often been an impediment to the flow of humanitarian assistance. Governor Romney is committed to protecting innocents from war crimes and other atrocities, ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches those desperately in need, holding accountable those leaders who perpetrate atrocities, and achieving a sustainable peace for all who live in Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan.

U.S. State Department- Bureau of African Affairs

There are five pillars that serve as the foundation of U.S. policy toward Africa:
1) Support for democracy and the strengthening of democratic institutions on the continent, including free, fair, and transparent elections.
2) Supporting African economic growth and development.
3) Conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution.
4) Supporting Presidential initiatives such as the Global Health Initiative, Feed the Future, and the Global Climate Change Initiative.
5) Working with African nations on transnational issues such as drug smuggling, money laundering, illicit arms, and trafficking in persons.

Examining the U.S. Policy Responses to Entrenched African Leadership

April 18, 2012

 U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) Economic Ministers Policy Dialogue
U.S.-Africa Policy Under the Obama Administration

Monday, January 3, 2011

Obama to increase engagement with Africa in 2011

Associated Press

HONOLULU — President Obama is quietly but strategically stepping up his outreach to Africa, using this year to increase his engagement with a continent that is personally meaningful to him and important to U.S. interests.

Expectations in Africa spiked after the election of an American president with a Kenyan father. But midway through his term, Mr. Obama’s agenda for Africa has taken a back seat to other foreign-policy goals, such as winding down the Iraq war, fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan and resetting relations with Russia.

Obama aides believe those issues are now on more solid footing, allowing the president to expand his international agenda. He will focus in Africa on good governance and supporting nations with strong democratic institutions.

Mr. Obama delivered that message on his only trip to Africa since taking office, an overnight stop in Ghana in 2009, where he was mobbed by cheering crowds. In a blunt speech before the Ghanaian parliament, Mr. Obama said democracy is the key to Africa’s long-term development.

“That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long,” Mr. Obama said. “That is the change that can unlock Africa’s potential, and that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.”

The White House says Ms. Obama will travel to Africa again, and the political calendar means the trip almost certainly will happen this year, before Mr. Obama has to spend more time on his re-election bid. No decision has been made on which countries Mr. Obama will visit, but Ben Rhodes, the president’s deputy national security adviser, said stops will reflect positive democratic models.

The administration is monitoring more than 30 elections expected across Africa this year, including critical contests in Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

“The U.S. is watching, and we’re weighing in,” Mr. Rhodes said.

John Campbell, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria, said the different elections give the Obama administration the opportunity to establish clear policies.

The administration “should be less willing to cut slack when those elections are less than free, fair and credible,” Mr. Campbell said.

The White House can send that message right now as it deals with the disputed election in Ivory Coast and an upcoming independence referendum in Sudan, which could split Africa’s largest country in two.

Mr. Rhodes said the president has invested significant “diplomatic capital” on Sudan, mentioning the referendum in nearly all of his conversations with the presidents of Russia and China, two countries that could wield influence over Sudan’s government.

When Mr. Obama stopped in at a White House meeting last month of his national security advisers and United Nations ambassadors, the first topic he broached was Sudan, not Iran or North Korea. And as lawmakers on Capitol Hill neared the December vote on a new nuclear treaty with Russia, Mr. Obama called southern Sudan leader Salva Kiir by telephone to offer support for the referendum.

White House officials believe the postelection standoff in Ivory Coast could be the model for Mr. Obama’s stepped-up engagement in Africa.

The president tried to call incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo twice last month, from Air Force One as Mr. Obama returned from Afghanistan and then a week later. Neither call reached Mr. Gbagbo; administration officials believe the Ivorian leader sought to avoid contact. So the president wrote Mr. Gbagbo a letter, offering him an international role if he stopped clinging to power and stepped down.


Video: President Barack Obama took questions on Africa 2009


Video: President Obama speaks in Ghana- Saturday July 11, 2009


Video: Obama announced $3 billion pledge for food security in Africa -May 18, 2012


Video: Obama’s Africa policies


Video: Inside Story Americas – What is behind Obama’s new Africa strategy?


Video: Young African Leaders Forum questioned President Obama -2010


Video: CNN- President Obama in Ghana at the Cape Coast slave fort  part 1


Video: CNN- President Obama in Ghana at the Cape Coast slave fort part 2


Video: Senator Barack Obama’s August 2006 visit to Africa

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