U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from Professor George Ayittey

‘The Obama administration says it is launching a new partnership with sub-Saharan Africa to improve democracy, economic growth, security and trade in the region.’ VOA News.  You can download the U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa document here.

African voices have weighed in on this strategy. Below are thoughts by Professor George Ayittey, who sets context, reviews previous US-Africa policies and critiques the current document. These were initially laid out in a series of tweets. (More insights via a twitter chat under the hashtag #USAfricaPolicy)

Disclaimer: Quite Lengthy.(but extremely insightful.)

Also Scooped It here.

via deadrepublicanpresidents.blogspot.com

Continue reading “U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from Professor George Ayittey”

How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 5): Africa’s Own Initiatives — NEPAD

Africa’s Own Mega-Plans. Since independence, African leaders have announced all sorts of grandiose initiatives and mega-plans at various summits. Nothing subsequently was heard of them after the summits: The Lagos Plan of Action (1980); the African Priority Program for Economic Recovery (1985); the African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment (1989), the Abuja Treaty (1991) and others.

Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 5): Africa’s Own Initiatives — NEPAD”

How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 4): China’s 5-Point Agenda

Sensing an opportunity with the G-8 in disarray, China declared 2006 as the “Year for Africa” and convened an Africa Conference in Beijing in October. To feed the voracious appetite of its economic machine galloping at a dizzying 9 percent clip, China was trolling for resources in Africa. It wooed African leaders with euphonious verbiage and diplomatic platitudes about “equal terms” and lofty promises of foreign aid without conditions.

Miffed at the West’s insistence on conditionalities for its aid, 40 African heads of state trekked to the conference and threw themselves at the feet of China, signing a multiplicity of deals.China came up with a 3-Point Agenda for Africa that stressed peace, development, cooperation, and scholarships for African students, among others:(http://bit.ly/MBVqgQ) Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 4): China’s 5-Point Agenda”

How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 3): Live Aid, G-8 and more…

Rock and movie stars also hopped onto the aid bandwagon. Back in 1985, there was “Live Aid” intended to save the famine victims in Ethiopia and a “Special Session on Africa” held by the United Nations to boost aid to Africa. Nothing more was heard of them in subsequent years. A year later in 1986, the United Nations announced a Program of Action for African Recovery and Development (PAAERD).

Five years later came the United Nations New Agenda for African Development (UNNADAF) in 1991. Then in March 1996, the U.N. launched a $25 billion Special Initiative for Africa. They all fizzled.In September 2005, the plight of Africa again took center-stage at a U.N. conference with clockwork precision. The international community mounted a campaign to boost foreign aid to Africa. The U.N. called on rich countries to increase their foreign aid to 0.7 percent of GDP by 2015. Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 3): Live Aid, G-8 and more…”

How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 2): The International Efforts

First, the international efforts. Africa’s plight seems to follow a ten-year attention deficit cycle. Every decade or so, mega-plans are drawn up and rock concerts held to whip up international rescue mission for Africa. Acrimonious wrangling over financing modalities ensues. Years slip by and then a decade later, another grand Africa initiative is unveiled.First to appear on the scene were the World Bank and the IMF with their Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs). Their main goal was to dismantle the statist interventionist behemoth and move African economies to rely more on the private sector.
The state’s pervasive hegemony in the economy was to be rolled back. Price and other controls were to be removed and unprofitable state-owned enterprises were to be sold. In return for these reforms, the Bank provided some $25 billion in loans to run the programs from 1981 to 1991. It was foreign aid conditioned upon the implementation of economic reform. After the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1989, the Bank and Western donors added a political conditionality – multi-party democracy. Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 2): The International Efforts”

How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 1): The Background

On June 14, President Barak Obama unveiled a 4-pillar development strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa. They are:
1. Strengthen Democratic Institutions
2. Spur Economic Growth, Trade, and Investment
3. Advance Peace and Security
4. Promote Opportunity and Development

Each of the broad categories has five sub-objectives, except the fourth, which has six, making a total of twenty-one. However, before we assess whether this strategy will work or not, a little history would be useful. But first, a principle which is relevant in these matters. Continue reading “How To Help, Save or Develop Africa (Part 1): The Background”