The questions Trump's administration are asking about Africa

By Polycarp Kazaresam

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump made certain policies very, very clear. The Wall. Banning Muslims from entering the country. Reduced trade with China.  However, he rarely spoke about US-Africa relations. African policymakers and speculators were left without any clues as to what Trump had planned for African issues such as trade, aid and immigrations.

Until now. A four page list of Africa-related questions, sent from the Trump transition team to the State Department, has been uncovered. Long-time Africa specialists are alarmed, they say that the framing and tone of the questions suggest a US retreat from development and humanitarian goals, while at the same time attempts to push business opportunities across Africa.

Questions from the unclassified document include:

  • “How does US business compete with other nations in Africa? Are we losing out to the Chinese?”
  • “With so much corruption in Africa, how much of our funding is stolen?”
  • “Why should we spend these funds on Africa when we are suffering here in the U.S.?”
  • “We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab for a decade, why haven’t we won?”
  • “Most of AGOA (Africa Growth and Opportunity Act) imports are petroleum products, with the benefits going to national oil companies, why do we support that massive benefit to corrupt regimes?” 
  • “We’ve been hunting Kony for years, is it worth the effort?”
  • “The LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) has never attacked US interests, why do we care? Is it worth the huge cash outlays? I hear that even the Ugandans are looking to stop searching for him, since they no longer view him as a threat, so why do we?”
  • “Is PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) worth the massive investment when there are so many security concerns in Africa? Is PEPFAR becoming a massive, international entitlement program?”
  • “How do we prevent the next Ebola outbreak from hitting the US?”
     

 

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SOURCE: [New York Times]

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