Containing seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies, the African continent is rapidly becoming an important player in the global economy and international security. While sub-Saharan Africa in particular remains largely under the radar in American foreign policy debates, China is quickly expanding its economic influence in what could be the next critical geopolitical arena. With President Obama having to devote significant attention to Iraq and Afghanistan during his first term, scholars and practitioners debate his track record in Africa. What do the current trends in Africa imply for American economic and national security? And will President Obama in his second term need to alter current American policy toward Africa?
Richard Joseph is the John Evans Professor of international history and politics at Northwestern University, and a nonresident senior fellow in the global economy and development program at The Brookings Institution. His research and teaching focuses on African governance, political economy, and democratization. Previously, Joseph has directed the African governance program at the Carter Center and coordinated elections missions in Zambia and Ghana, and peace initiatives in Liberia. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Mwangi S. Kimenyi is senior fellow and director of the Africa Growth Initiative in the global economy and development program of The Brookings Institution. He is the founding executive director of the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis and a research associate with the Center for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
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