In recent times, the West’s lack of engagement with Africa left behind a vacuum that China and Russia eagerly stuffed. The US and Europe can nonetheless restore relations – and, for the primary time in a very long time, appear decided to attempt – however solely by enjoying to their strengths.
WASHINTON, DC – America is lastly taking note of Africa. However current makes an attempt at engagement – the US-Africa Leaders Summit in December and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s ten-day tour of the continent final month – have supplied no indication that the US has something near a significant technique for engagement with the continent. And the European Union isn’t any higher.
Renewed Western curiosity in Africa is lengthy overdue. The continent performs a necessary position in world affairs, not least due to its outsize significance to future world financial progress and the green-energy transformation, rooted in its accelerating urbanization, youth bulge, and plentiful deposits of minerals and uncommon earths. All of this clearly deserves sustained and constant engagement by the West.
However Africa has drawn solely sporadic engagement – totally on safety issues – from the US lately. The final US-Africa summit was held practically a decade in the past, and no US president has visited the continent since 2015. Donald Trump confirmed little curiosity in Africa throughout his time period; in actual fact, his open disdain for the continent drove US-Africa diplomacy into the bottom.