The United States has released its new “Prosper Africa” strategy on Thursday aimed at advancing American and African prosperity through the improvement of trade and commercial ties.
President Donald Trump said the new strategy hopes to “extend our economic partnerships with countries who are committed to self-reliance and to fostering opportunities for job creation in both Africa and the United States.”
However, details of the new strategy laid out by national security adviser, John Bolton, in remarks at the Heritage Foundation did not look progressive and beneficial to Africa like previous U.S. government strategies toward Africa.
“Under our new approach, every decision we make, every policy we pursue, and every dollar of aid we spend will further U.S. priorities in the region,” he said while naming three core U.S. interests on the continent including; advancing U.S. trade and commercial ties with African nations; countering the threat from Radical Islamic Terrorism and ensuring that U.S. taxpayer dollars for aid are used efficiently and effectively.
Here are three things that the new “Prosper Africa” strategy highlighted by Bolton will cut back from Africa.
Reevaluation of U.S. support for UN peacekeeping missions
The United States national security adviser John Bolton categorically stated that it will not support U.N. peacekeeping missions in Africa which he described as “unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable”.
The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent, without focus or prioritization … And, we will no longer support unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable U.N. peacekeeping missions.
“We want something more to show for Americans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” he added.
Reevaluation of aid offered to some African countries
The United States is cutting aid to some African countries including Sudan whose government it finds troublesome.
“Under our new Africa strategy, we will target U.S. funding toward key countries and particular strategic objectives. All U.S. aid on the continent will advance U.S. interests, and help African nations move toward self-reliance,” says the national security adviser John Bolton.
He added that the United States is reviewing its assistance to South Sudan and will not provide loans or resources to a South Sudanese government “led by the same morally bankrupt leaders, who perpetuate the horrific violence and immense human suffering in South Sudan.”
He also stated that countries that “repeatedly” vote against the United States in international forums or “take action counter to U.S. interests” are not entitled to U.S. aid.
This decision will affect the independence of African countries at international level where they have to take strategic position on issues.
Stricter rules and requirements for countries seeking aid
The United States says it is revisiting a Cold War Marshall Plan to bypass the United Nations and target key sectors of foreign economies to provide aid that will advance U.S. interests and “move recipient states toward self-reliance, and prevent long-term dependency.”
National security adviser John Bolton stated that countries that are less needy recipients should graduate from foreign assistance while adding that countries and organizations making poor policy choices will be denied assistance.
He said the United States will focus its economic efforts on African governments that act as strategic partners and are striving toward improved governance and transparent business practices.
“We also intend to pursue modern, comprehensive trade agreements on the continent that ensure fair and reciprocal exchange between the United States and the nations of Africa. We will begin these negotiations on a bilateral basis, and focus on creating mutually beneficial partnerships,” he added.