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Africa in 21st Century US and EU Agendas

A Comparative Analysis


Lola Raich

This book investigates issues pertaining to the US and EU agendas in Africa since the dawn of the new century. It discusses how the African continent has featured within the US and EU foreign policy agendas, by looking at ensuing gaps between a rhetoric that claimed to have put Africa within the high politics agenda and the reality. The case studies analyse the reasons for the very different acknowledgements of USAFRICOM and JAES P&S, even though both policies state to aim the same: support Africa in tackling its own security concerns. The book concludes with a deliberation on which of the two outlooks seems to offer an appropriate approach to the context and which offers pragmatic solutions.
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The 21st Century Agenda of the United States of America in Africa


Looking back, US policy towards Africa, despite historic ties, has generally been marked by indifference and neglect (Putman 2008:316). At the beginning of the new century, the White House recognised Africa’s high significance in line with the US’ strategic priority of combating global terror (The White House 2002:10). It was argued that the US has to partner with Africans to fight disease, poverty, tackle security issues and help them to strengthen fragile and failing states and ultimately bring ungoverned areas under the control of effective democracies (The White House 2006:37). Policy documents and statements, in particular those released post 9/11, suggested that Africa required more attention in US foreign policy (The White House 2002; 2006; Mill 2006:158–62; Princeton et al 2006:9–14; Cohen 2003:20–4; Stevenson 2003:155–66) because of its increasing importance to US national and economic security, and because of the humanitarian crises that emanate from the continent.

At the height of the Cold War era, the US pursued a foreign policy towards Africa, which was mostly informed by the interests to contain the influence of USSR in the African continent, at the same time influencing and supporting the African authoritarian regimes itself19 thus securing access to strategic and mineral resources. The post-Cold War US national security interests in Africa were outlined through concerns about under-development and humanitarian issues, failed states, HIV/AIDS and other epidemics, drought and famines as well as a conviction that the international...

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