Africa in Fact

Issue 58 July-Sept 2021

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Globalised desires

The digital divide between Africa and the US is shrinking fast There is an excitement that comes with one’s Facebook post getting many likes within hours, or with a WhatsApp status that quickly elicits many views and chats. It prompts a nice feeling and temporary...

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A new administration in a new political environment

A new administration in a new political environment

The USA in the Horn of Africa The 9/11 terrorist attack changed the United States security strategy globally. The event took place a decade after the end of the Cold War and before the US and its allies in the West had truly enjoyed the triumph of neoliberalism. Nevertheless, the attack bestowed on the US […]

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Taming expectations

Taming expectations

Foreign policy priorities under Biden: implications for South Africa, Africa and the world One of the major challenges for the United States administration under Joe Biden is the management of domestic and global expectations following the disruptive presidency of Donald Trump, whose actions at home and abroad continue to reverberate beyond his term in office. […]

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Can we speak of African agency?

Can we speak of African agency?

Should African states have foreign policy ambitions towards the US? The United States’ relations with Africa, like most of its relations with other international actors, have always been dictated and directed by the US and its interests in the region, whether bilaterally or multilaterally. This has been the nature of its international relations since the […]

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Toward new approaches and perspectives

Toward new approaches and perspectives

US-Africa security relations As the new United States administration of President Joe Biden embarks on a review of US-Africa relations, it is important to reflect on the security policies that should undergird this relationship. Although both bilateral and multilateral security cooperation feature prominently in the US’s engagement with African countries, these matters have always been […]

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On the horns of a dilemma

On the horns of a dilemma

US involvement in Somalia’s civil war stimulated its multilateral engagements in the region The United States is a leading player in shaping peace and security interventions in Africa. In the wake of growing multilateralism after the world wars, the US increased its dominance in the international system, principally influencing interactions of state and non-state actors […]

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From regime change to fostering strong democratic institutions

From regime change to fostering strong democratic institutions

Implications for American democracy promotion and influence in Africa The 2020 US election meltdown may have dented the role and influence of America as the chief promoter and protector of democratisation in Africa. However, the resilience of US political institutions in the face of immense systemic pressure from the Trump Presidency opens a window of […]

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Will Africa return to America’s ambit of tactical influence?

Will Africa return to America’s ambit of tactical influence?

Reimagining US-Africa relations Even before Joe Biden’s presidency could be confirmed by the US Congress, the debates surrounding the renewal of the country’s Africa policy were gaining momentum. Given the chilly reception that Africa had to contend with under the Trump administration, the Biden-Harris government was seen as helping to turn the tide. While the […]

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Rethinking US-African relations: policy and constituency challenges

Rethinking US-African relations: policy and constituency challenges

African-Americans have the potential to shape relations between Africa and the US As the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration gets under way, there are important collateral developments that may give momentum to what has been a growing consensus on a much-needed rethinking of US-Africa policy. The ascension of New York congressman Gregory Meeks to chair the […]

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Educating for economic growth

Educating for economic growth

The axis between learning and economic development Africa’s youthful population may have contributed to the continent’s better fortunes with regard to Covid-19 deaths, but the pandemic has also increased the pressure on governments to deliver jobs and basic public and social services, including education. The development and integration of the continent’s potent human capital, especially […]

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Refining African policies towards the US

Refining African policies towards the US

A call for an African policy framework for its relations with America

This article argues the case for an African policy framework with regards to the United States of America, as a strategic approach to redressing the many areas of asymmetry in relations. The absence of a coherent African policy or policies towards the US, against the background of past American policies towards Africa, is partly accountable for Africa’s poor socioeconomic performance vis-à-vis the US.

African Union Executive Council at AU headquarters , Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2017. Photo: Government ZA

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The chance for climate action

The chance for climate action

Even with smart development support from the US, African governments must improve climate governance The Trump administration, including former president Donald Trump himself, peddled conspiracy theories, questioned the existence of climate change, and, based on this, rolled back a number of environmental protection policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the US. Without […]

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Africa is an opportunity, not a problem

Africa is an opportunity, not a problem

Advocacy for a new vision of Africa-US relations Most African countries gained independence in the early 1960s and have struggled to find their place in an international system where the most significant rules of the game were  defined at the end of World War II without their having a voice. While Africa was a theatre […]

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Agency, human rights and homosexuality

Agency, human rights and homosexuality

Biden and Africa: contextualising the debate on homosexuality In this article, I discuss the administration of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr, the 46th president of the US, and his call for developing countries to liberalise and decriminalise their laws against homosexuality and the broader members of the LGBTQI+ community. In his first foreign speech in February […]

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Editor’s note: A new vision for Africa?

Editor’s note: A new vision for Africa?

This special edition of Africa in Fact provides perspectives on wide-ranging Africa-US intersections. The authors were part of the many virtual sessions convened throughout 2020 as webinars became a media platform of choice for a world blasted by a pandemic like no other. The objective is not to merely reflect on what went down but […]

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