This report examines the strategic role of economics in foreign policy and gives practical policy recommendations to the U.S. Department of State for enhancing its international economic policymaking.
The Maghreb is looking south to secure its future. Though ties between sub-Saharan and North Africa are deep and go back centuries, after independence in the 1950s and 1960s, Maghreb countries primarily viewed sub-Saharan Africa as an arena for competition among themselves.
Of Africa’s over 1 billion citizens, roughly 60 percent are below the age of 30; and the number of youth on the continent is expected to double to 600 million by 2050. They are and will be Africa’s doctors, teachers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, engineers, farmers, journalists, and political leaders.
Many in the United States consider much of sub-Saharan Africa to be outside of U.S. strategic interests. Yet the United States often finds itself drawn into conflicts associated with what is often called Africa’s “state failure” problem.
Africa’s place in the energy world is defined by its growing population and energy consumption, its legacy and new resource endowment, and its strategic location. In recent years excitement over newfound natural gas resources in East Africa has dominated headlines, heralding speculation about an emerging age of African energy.
The U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit will focus on trade and investment opportunities in Africa, while highlighting America’s commitments to security and democratic governance on the continent.
For several decades, the Americas have actively sought to engage other regions of the world.
Africa’s robust economic growth will be a cause for celebration at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ summit in August. Only East and South Asia have grown faster than sub-Saharan Africa since 2002.
When one thinks of the relationship between Europe and Africa today, two images that come to mind are of French military forces intervening in the Sahel region and Libyan immigrants attempting to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa on unnavigable vessels.
The U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, being hosted by President Barack Obama in August 2014, acknowledges the increasing strategic, economic, and diplomatic importance of Africa and signals a desire by the United States to step up its engagement with one of the world’s fastest-growing regions.