US-Africa relations: Problems started with emergence of President Trump - Mahama
Former President John Dramani Mahama has attributed the strained relationship between Africa and the United States of America to the emergence of US President Donald Trump.
Before President Trump’s tenure and administration, several African countries regarded themselves as ‘friends of the US’ but lack of enthusiasm and unfavouring policies from him (Trump) have created estrangement from the continent.
“Generally, America enjoys a lot of support and admiration in Africa, they have a very soft feeling towards America and world affairs. The problem begun when Mr. Trump emerged”, he stated.
“If you took a survey across the continent, I’m sure there was more support for Hillary than Mr. Trump. One, because of her husband’s tenure in office. He had had a very strong affinity for Africa and secondly because she herself as Secretary of State had worked tirelessly towards crafting the Obama administration’s policy towards Africa so generally there was the hope that Hillary would win but Mr. Trump won but we didn’t despair. We hoped that once in office the rough edges will be smoothened and he will become a good friend of Africa”.
“Unfortunately friends of America are beginning to despair not wholly because of the invective he used on us… that put off a lot of people. I think it was most unfortunate” Mr. Mahama narrated”.
The immediate past President of Ghana was reacting to an earlier presentation by a former US Ambassador to the African Union, Dr. Reuben Brigety II who highlighted the need for America to take note of the changing trends in Africa and repair the straining relationship it has created over the years.
He revealed that for nearly two years into the Trump Administration no senior government official has been appointed for the purpose of coordinating African policies and engaging with senior African leaders.
Dr. Reuben Brigety II indicated that while consulting with African officials it was evident that African leaders were concerned about the lackadaisical approach by the Trump administration towards US-Africa relations.
“… The second that is usually pointed out by African interlocutors is a perceived lack of high level engagements with Africa which especially compared with the engagements they see from other sovereign non-African partners…”
“... However this last latter visit meant to be something of a demonstration of how important Africa is to the Trump administration turned out to be anything but when Secretary Tillerson was fired before that visit even concluded. Thus leading many Africans to wonder what exactly the United States thinks about Africa and in fact taking that one particular; the fact that Secretary Tillerson was fired as frankly the best evidence of the Trump administration attitude towards Africa generally speaking.” Dr. Brigerty stated.