President-elect Trump to take the back seat in African involvement

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14/01/2017 from Tanzania


President-elect Trump has implied that, during his term as president, America will be taking the back seat when it comes to their policy and engagements in Africa such as foreign aid, and investments – contrary to their previous dominant position in the continent and the rest of the world. The president conveys little interest and doubts any return in their investments on the continent saying, “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.?”. This, arguably, has repercussions on the US hegemonic status in the global economy as Trump is giving way for other economically empowered countries to increase their influence in Africa and compensate for the absence of the USA. Already China has not only been competing with the USA economically within the whole global market, but specifically within the African continent boarders. Economic power translates to political power. America choosing to reduce their presence in the diaspora may result in the reduction in their influential political sphere which they have held for a long period, and which many African regimes looked up to and obeyed. The president elect has also touched on the topic of containing terrorism on the African soil, such as Boko Haraam in Nigeria/ Al Shabaab in Somalia – in which these countries were dependent on America to help fight off. African countries independently and collectively still look up to developed countries for military, economic, and in some situations political aid. If the biggest agent of these is too step down, Africa will be in a state of delusion seeking to form allies with whoever offers. This will create a shift in the dynamics of the international arena and hence perhaps the creation of a new hegemony which is prepared to play the role of the previous America before the elections. The question posed is America ready to transmit their power to China or countries alike?

Foreign investments and aid can be said to be more beneficial to the donor country instead of the receiving country anyway. Perhaps a hands on approach from America would instead have positive effects on the country, alleviating exploitation and generating more income levels which would remain within the continent. Furthermore, one could only reasonably assume that the president elect neglecting Africa is in line with his bigoted, and racist remarks he has made during his campaign trail towards the black community and minorities in his own country. He has expressively uttered his dislike for the social groups, and so his choice to refrain from Africa should be expected. There is a certain kind of people that Donald Trump has interest in – and quite frankly the majority of them can not be found in Africa. The president-elect has carried identity politics beyond the borders of America and into the world simply by abandoning Africa which is already a “minority” group in global standards. He continues to use isolating language which generalises a whole people group such as “corrupt”; a method he also utilised during his campaign trail by branding the Mexicans as “thieves/rapists”. It may be too soon to say but perhaps Donald Trump has categorised African-Americans and Africans as all the same people to which he intends to treat the same- paying them no attention.