I think a more accurate title of Mr. Madill’s article would’ve been “Same foreign policy different President”. To be perfectly honest, Africa probably isn’t on Barack Obama’s list of “Things I need to worry about”. We have: (In no particular order) A worldwide economy in recession, two Middle Eastern wars, an Israeli offensive that probably permanently poisoned any positive perception it had globally, not to mention the old standbys of immigration reform, healthcare reform, gun control, etc.
Mr.Madill sums this up quite nicely when he states “The President of the United States is foremost the defender of US interests. Africa runs strong in Barack Obama, but his first responsibility is to the American people, so Africans wishing for a sea change in US policy will be disappointed. In pronouncing the oath of office, he will promise to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the United States, yet this does not mean that the relationship between the US and African countries cannot improve.” As an amateur political analyst I believe that sometime in the next 5-10 years US-African relations will improve and not for the reasons expounded upon in this article (Assuming we don’t get hit with another Great Depression. Then all bets are off).
If you do a Google for the words “Africa China”, one of the first hits you get is an article from the Council on Foreign Relations on how China is getting its Oil from Africa as opposed to the Middle East, because the Chinese are, to put it mildly, afraid to set foot in the Middle East, almost to the point of paranoia; they see all these great powers enter the Middle East (Russia, US, even France when it was under Napoleon), and get absolutely torn up. The Chinese instead seek to become one of Africa’s closest trading partners, in this scenario, eventually surpassing the United States. The US, in its rush to remain the premiere economic superpower will intervene in Marshall Plan 2.0.
In short, any hope for changes in the political relationship between Africa and the United States probably isn’t going to happen in the near future, regardless of who holds the presidency. This is assuming, of course, that an African power doesn’t sign a major trade agreement with China during Obama’s presidency.
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