THINKING REGIONALLY: PRIORITIES FOR U.S. POLICY TOWARD AFRICA

BACKGROUND PAPER
by Salih Booker, Africa Policy Information Center
Washington, DC, United States
April 1998
Publisher: Africa Policy Information Center
12 pages
Reprint in April 1998 of Background Paper 0005 (March 1996) and Background Paper Update (March 1998). The pamphlet says the recent Congressional action to significantly cut aid to Africa is only one sign among many of a trend to reduce U.S. involvement on the continent; how much further Africa is marginalized in the U.S. will ultimately depend on the ability of Africa's multiple constituencies to reverse this trend; and events on the continent are likely to compel a greater commitment of resources man U.S. policymakers currently contemplate. The pamphlet says negative goals such as Cold War rivalry no longer define the U.S. interest; and that it is in the U.S. interest that, within each African region, as elsewhere in the world, countries and peoples should be able to advance the common goals of achieving security, democracy and development. The pamphlet says in Algeria the complicated challenge of "mainstreaming" Islamic fundamentalism into a new democratic system is a problem with important regional implications across North Africa, in parts of West and East Africa, and in Western Europe as well; and Algeria still has important influence with the Polisario Front of the Western Sahara, whose independence struggle against Morocco-the traditional ally of the U.S. in the Maghreb-represents the continent's remaining unresolved colonial conflict. The pamphlet says on the political front, South Africa continued to defy the pessimists by continuing to promote reconciliation while maintaining the ruling coalition alliance of the ANC, the Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party despite the adoption of relatively conservative economic policy. The pamphlet says following eight years of fratricidal war, Liberians went to the polls and .elected Charles Taylor president in 1997. The pamphlet discusses the Economic Community of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the East African Cooperation (EAC), ECOMOG, and the African Development Bank. Contents: Deciding Where to Focus • Focus Countries • Thinking Regionally About Africa • Regions and Focus Countries: Population • Historical Obligations • Regional Perspectives • Regions and Focus Countries: Economy • Priority Issues: Security, Democracy and Development • Regions and Focus Countries: Trade • Security • Democracy • Focus Countries within Regions • Development • Conclusion • Endnotes • THINKING REGIONALLY: PRIORITIES FOR U.S. POLICY TOWARD AFRICA Background Paper Update • Southern Africa • Central Africa • Eastern Africa • West Africa • North Africa • Thinking Regionally About Africa • U.S. Policy
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the Africa Policy Information Center).
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers