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What Trump’s Presidency Means For The African Continent

Donald Trump’s stunning victory in the elections last week sent shockwaves throughout the African continent. Very few people across the continent anticipated Donald Trump to be the new leader of the free world.

Check also: How Africa Reacted When Trump Was Announced As The Next U.S. President

Residents of K’ogelo Village (Obama’s father’s rural home) had predicted a big win for Hillary Clinton in their usual straw polls that have twice predicted Obama’s win. However, now that Trump is President elect the main question is how his presidency will affect America’s involvement across the African continent.

The US and African states have enjoyed a close relationship over the last decades. This connection has allowed for collaboration in areas of security, education, poverty eradication and development. Yet with Trump providing very little information on how his government will interact with the continent, his administration’s relationships with Africa remain a thing for speculation.

Here are 4 potential ways the Trump administration will work with the African continent.

  1. Trade deals will be re-negotiated; investments will reduce.

The US has worked to expand trade and investment in Sub Saharan African over the last 16 years. They have tried to stimulate economic growth and facilitate the continent’s integration into the global economy.

Trump’s protectionist rhetoric during the campaign trail means that trade between the US and African countries will most likely reduce significantly. Agreements such as African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will be re-negotiated. Overall American investment into the continent will decline as a result.

  1. Foreign aid in the continent will reduce

Trump is very skeptical of foreign aid in Africa. In 2013, he famously tweeted, “Every penny of the $7 billion going to Africa as per Obama will be stolen – corruption is rampant”. We are going to see a reduction in the overall aid distribution from the US to African countries.

The role and structure of USAID will change during the Trump administration. Trump will most likely focus on investing money locally than donating it abroad. However, it will be interesting to see how Trump gets support to reduce aid to the continent as both Republican and Democrat presidents have supported aid to African states.

  1. Cooperation on security will remain crucial

Trump promised to crush ISIS. This means that cooperation with African states on security will remain crucial to his anti-terrorism agenda. With ISIS in North Africa; Al Qaeda and Al Shabaab in East Africa, Trump will have to find ways of cooperating with African states.

The US has over the last decades been involved in carrying out military operations across the continent, and this may have to continue. We will have to see if African states can use this as means of bargaining for more trade and investments into the continent.

  1. America’s involvement and interference in African state politics will be limited

Trump’s America will not actively interfere with African States’ politics and internal issues. He will not try to influence legislation, policy and elections across the continent. The magnitude of his involvement with the continent will be fully understood once he announces his assistant Secretary of State for Africa to pursue his agenda.

Still like with all of Trump’s policies, there is so much uncertainty about how his administration will work with the African continent and what the key agendas of his policy will look like. Hopefully the coming weeks and months will shed more light.

Source: huffington post

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