THE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS IN AMERICAN POLICY ON AFRICA

(Part of a larger study of the new role of Africa in World Politics)
by George W. Shepherd Jr.
Northfield, Minnesota
Undated, September 1958?
7 pages
Type: Conference Presentation
Language: English
Contents: Interests and Foreign Policy • Economic Interests • Strategic Interests • Humanitarian Interests • The Balance of Interests • Paper presented to the African Studies Association Annual Meeting, September 8-10, Northwestern University. The paper says in a sense, the challenge which Asia and Africa (including the Middle East) presents to American policy springs from the same Source; the peoples of these areas have in common the spirit which the Bandung Conference expressed so well -- a relentless breaking of the old foundations of their societies, with the expectation a of creating a new order in which the individual will have some hope for achieving human dignity. The paper says there is another factor effecting our policy toward Asia and Africa which we of the West are reluctant to recognize overtly; but nevertheless are forced to take into account covertly. The paper says the balance of power between the Soviet world and the West now appears to have shifted to these areas with their vast populations and stores of strategic raw materials. The paper says to date there is little indication that American and Western policies have found any more promising basis of accommodation in Africa than in Asia and the Middle East; American policy in each area has been torn by a basic dilemma; this dilemma is created by a natural sympathy on the one hand for the legitimate nationalist aspirations of self-determination, equality, and social progress, and on the other hand, the recognition that advances in this direction often threaten vital strategic bases and economic interests of the United States and the Western World. The paper says comparatively little American private capital has been invested in farming, or in industrial enterprises of Africa outside of the Union of South Africa; today only 10% of Africa's imports are supplied by the United States. The paper discusses George V. Allen, colonialism, Reinhold Niebuhr, Walter Lippman, democratic society, the Portuguese territories, colonial powers, African nationalism, William Moran, President Bourgiba, NATO, Hans Morgenthau, the Communist bloc, the Soviet Union, Vernon McKay, Pan-Africanism, American investment, the Committee on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories of the United Nations, James Coleman, the Central African Federation, apartheid, the American Negro, Richard Wright, Martin Luther King, the 1958 Accra Conference, St. Olaf College, and the Cold War.
Used by permission of George W. Shepherd, Jr.
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections