Lavrov’s trip to Africa was followed by Macron’s trip to Africa, but it was more limited to the Sahel zone and francophone countries, Russia now wants to hold an Africa summit, China is already doing this, the USA now also wants to hold an Africa summit in the USA and now, by means of a programmatic speech, US – Secretary of State Blinken announced a new US Africa strategy, but with a focus on the sub-Sharan zone. Before, John Boltoon had written Trump-USA’s Africa strategy with a focus on countering Chinese and terrorist influence in Africa, but Trump was not particularly interested in that, since he only saw „shitholes“ in African countries in which one should not invest, let alone like now Biden by means of Build Back Better World B3W. by means of billions of US dollars for infrastructure projects, which are intended to counteract China’s new Silk Road, as the EU and Germany now want to advance with the Global Gateway, although this is still in its infancy with no visible strategy. Biden and Blinken are now trying to give this a certain strategic direction, but Blinken’s trip to Africa was criticized that he only wanted to collect UN voters against Russia in the Ukraine war and that the so-called strategy did not have the whole of Africa in view.
“Biden Administration Reveals New U.S. Strategy on Africa
The Biden Administration’s top foreign policy official, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, says the United States‘ new strategy for its partnership with sub-Saharan Africa is „rooted in the recognition that [the region] is a major geopolitical force, one that shaped our past, is shaping our present, and will shape our future.“ In a speech in South Africa, he said the policy had four priorities:
– To „foster openness, by which we mean the capacity of individuals, communities, and nations to choose their own path and shape the world we live in“;
– „Working with African partners to fulfill the promise of democracy“;
– To work with Africa to recover from Covid „and lay the foundation for broad-based, sustainable economic opportunity to improve the lives of our people“; and
– Combatting climate change by leading the transition to „clean energy“.
News coverage of his three-nation visit to Africa has included a focus on Africa’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While Blinken denied in an interview in Johannesburg that the purpose of the visit was to counter Russia’s influence in Africa, South Africa’s foreign minister, Naledi Pandor – while exempting Blinken from her remarks – criticised unnamed European countries and the U.S. Congress for what she called their patronising and bullying attitudes to Africa.”
Interesting that the USA seems to only refer to sub-Saharan Africa and less to all of Africa. Is the rest recorded separately under Greater Middle East or MENA and what about the Sahel zone, for which France and Germany seem to feel primarily responsible? Also interesting that there is hardly any information about Africom in Stuttgart and its activities in Africa, neither on their website (with the exception of terrorism and Somalia) nor in other Africa related literature. China, Russia and Turkey have Africa in mind as a whole entity, seeing Egypt as more of a nexus between MENA and the rest of Africa, but as a holistic whole, while the US seems to view Egypt more as MENA and in relation to Israel, Camp David and the Suez Canal than in direction Africa, Sudan, Horn of Africa and Ethiopia’s GERD. What about Ethiopia? Somehow the US strategy seems piecemeal despite B3W. Or the US is switching to sub-Saharan Africa as a bulwark against the other instability of the MENA and Sahel zone to the south. But there, too, China and Russia have a good deal thanks to South Africa and BRICS. There was once a plan for a SATO-Southern Africa Treaty Organiszation, a Subshara Southern African NATO during the Cold War (see also the Stasi-GDR propaganda interview with Kongo-Müller „The Laughing Man“).
Would this be an option for Africom and NATO? Apparently they don’t think that far anymore. Thomas Barnett and Samuel Huntington had already suggested a focus on southern and sub-Saharan Africa, in which in geoculturalist categories the Christian southern Africa, based on the model of the Clash of Civilizations, will become a frontier against the more Islamic North Africa and the Sahel zone, in which Islamism is spreading and they also demanded a kind of western bulwark in Southern Africa- similar to Blinken.
Exaggerated thesis: The USA is retreating to sub-Saharan Africa as a hoped-for bulwark, since they no longer see anything to gain in MENA and the Sahel zone, also because of Islamism and the other great and regional powers that could only be pushed back through a massive military operation ala Iraq or Afghanistan and would lead you into the next quagmire, for which the USA neither have the capacities, if they want to take on China, Russia, Iran and North Korea and Islamism, nor the will, especially since they are also retreating from the Greater Middle East with the exception Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and after their Iraqi desaster didn’t even intervene in Syria anymore, although Obama drew red lines towards Assad, which he didn’t keep, but they didn’t want to be drawn into a never-ending guerrilla war anymore, certainly not with boots on the ground. Conventional deterrence like in Taiwan and proxy wars like in Ukraine seem more promising. While the US will embark on a more symbolic and selective US military action like Africom is now doing in Somalia against Al Shabab that the conflict doesn’t spill over into Ethiopia, the US fears that this could become another Black Hawk Down 2.0 if one gets further entangled in this country, just as they have no greater hopes in the Sudan. Although they still support the democratic opposition in Sudan, they know that this civil-military government formation will be decided by the military, as in Burma, and that Ethiopia can no longer be won back either. Especially since the MENA and the Sahel continue to collapse. Biden is not a geoculturalist like Barnett or Huntington, but also sees the division of Africa into a Muslim North and Central Africa, in which Islamism has a great potential and exists already of failed states and detoriating states , while in the Christian Sub-Sahara Africa of the South things are still pretty stable, yes, since Evangelicals and Free Churches are also possible allies, along with pretty strong secular forces who also feel threatened by Islamism in the North and the Islamic State recently became active in Mozambique and Congo – that’s why the USA is now concentrating on Christian southern sub-Saharan Africa , where there is still more political stability and economic growth and where there are also enough forces against Islamism. It is therefore a matter of consolidating those parts of Africa that can still be saved for the USA, even if one also considers Morocco, Ghana and other exceptional countries that have not yet been infected as exceptions, but the main focus is on southern sub-Saharan Africa. If you look at the imperialist struggle in the continent, the slogan that a German ambassador once preferred: „Africa for the Africans“ seems a distant prospect, despite the AU and the African free trade zone.