Center for American Progress

Opportunities and Challenges in U.S.-Africa Relations

Opportunities and Challenges in U.S.-Africa Relations

Like most presidents, Obama’s track record promoting peace on the African continent has been a decidedly mixed bag.

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idea_bulbWith President Barack Obama about to embark on a trip to Africa that will include stops in Kenya and Ethiopia, it is a good time to review his administration’s track record of engagement with the continent since he took office, a record that is ending up in a far better place than it started.

In many ways, knowing that the United States would not be in a position to deliver traditional big-ticket aid packages to Africa helped push the administration toward a more sophisticated and mature approach. The greatest shift in the relationship between the United States and Africa over the length of the Obama administration has been the increasing recognition among most African countries that foreign aid alone will not drive lasting economic growth and prosperity.

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