President Barack Obama and Africa’s Uncompleted Journey, Part II

By: Richard Joseph

With a second term secured, and decades of authority and influence ahead in his post-presidency, President Obama can become a transformative leader in Africa.[i] On March 7, 2013, Senator Chris Coons, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, issued a report that echoed the increasing call for the United States to enhance its economic engagement with Africa. Now is also the time, he said, “to ensure that America’s economic engagement policy toward Sub-Saharan Africa is coordinated, comprehensive and effective.” [ii] The six recommendations in his report coincide with the points made in this essay. The moment is opportune for the Obama Administration to put forward an American Agenda for Africa that is bold, innovative, and inspiring. The Agenda responds to the question posed in the first part of this essay: “How should President Obama most usefully invest his authority and talents and marshal Americans to engage with the positive trends and opportunities?”

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