- One year after President Obama was sworn in to office, and less than a week before his State of the Union address, Africa Action today released its Africa Policy Outlook 2010, also published by Foreign Policy in Focus.
The Outlook which is an annual publication forecasting the key issues and developments in Africa policy, such as climate change, the global economic crisis, HIV/AIDS, foreign aid and other country topics, also analyzes trends in US relations with Africa under the current administration.
The report also calls into question US commitment to long-term development goals, stating that in the global economic crisis, with less money being made available for investment in health, infrastructure, education, and the fight to combat climate change, the US is missing a historic opportunity to bring meaningful change for poor people in Africa.
Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action, said, “In 2009, we formally bade farewell to President Bush, and shared President Obama’s vision of hope and change for US foreign policy. His bold commitments to human rights during his campaign commanded the attention of those people all around the word.”
However, as Africa moves into a new decade, the Africa Policy Outlook for 2010 identifies several challenges facing the Obama Administration.
“The US has tripled the budget for US military programmes in Africa and revitalised the IMF and it’s failed lending policies, while at the same time, flat-lined funding for life-saving HIV/AIDS programmes. Africa deserves a more sophisticated approach than what has been afforded to its people,” adds Gerald LeMelle.
“The Obama administration has so far chosen to emphasise the importance of the US’s military role on the continent. However, the question now is whether, by treating dissent with military force rather than traditional law enforcement techniques, the US is undermining democracy and at the same time encouraging extremism and the growth of anti-Americanism.”
Michael Stulman, Associate Director for Policy and Communications said, “The US should leverage its enormous economic and political power to lead the international community in a global flight to eliminate poverty, disease, and conflict. US policy towards Africa must support the full spectrum of human rights across the continent, and be inseparably integrated as a pillar of US foreign policy. Human rights are the foundation for political and social stability and economic progress.”
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.