President Obama’s Diplomatic Style Toward Africa: Putting The Future Of Africa In The Hands Of Africans

1612 words - 6 pages

OBAMA’S IMPACT
President Obama has been behind several worldwide humanitarian initiatives that focus on results-based work and cohesion among already established organizations. The Global Health Initiative was created to supplement PEPFAR and is focused more on building health systems than on delivering medicine. In recent years the funding for PEPFAR has decreased as a means of meeting the objectives outlined in the Lantos-Hyde Act that called for frameworks that increase country ownership and funding of their own HIV/AIDS relief programs. African countries are working alongside the Obama Administration to transfer responsibility to local governments. Nigeria has committed to fund half of its HIV/AIDS programs by 2017 and in Ethiopia budget cuts are already taking place. Officials in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa have reported that they have been expecting the cuts and will adapt to replace the lost funds. Feed the Future was launched in 2010 to focus on increasing agricultural production rather than just doling out food. Agricultural assistance increased by $1.7 billion in 2010. Environmental programs have more than doubled since Obama took office. The International Disaster and Famine Assistance from USAID was up almost 80% in 2013 as the Horn of Africa required assistance with crushing drought conditions and other possible effects of climate change. The Obama initiative Power Africa is working to increase the access that Africans have to power, creating more jobs and increasing their ability to enter into the world market. In Africa the Obama administration is predominantly targeting youth and supporting democratic leaders. In 2010 the Young Africans Forum was created to emphasize education and leadership. In August 2014 the first U.S. African leaders Summit will meet to increase ties between U.S. and African Leaders and to increase the focus on trade and investment in Africa. And the Partnership for Growth is focused on creating a lush environment for businesses and ensuring that rules and regulations encourage investment. In 2010 Obama signed a directive on global development to “improve agency coordination and identify foreign aid with foreign investment.”
One of the most common complaints among Africans who are requesting less concessional aid from the United States is that subsidies to U.S. farmers and businesses are diminishing the possibility for Africans to prosper in the world-market. Mukoma wa Ngugi of Business Daily Africa argues that paternalistic foreign aid masks unequal trade. The problem begins when a crop that thrives in Africa, such as cotton, is overproduced in the U.S. due to subsidies and destroys the African farmers customer base because U.S. cotton prices decrease, thus decreasing global prices. The small-scale African farmer trying to work their way out of poverty finds it impossible to sell their products at such a low price and still survive. Obama has slowly been working with Congress to reduce...

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