Academic journal article African Studies Quarterly

Abdul Karim Bangura, Ed. 2015. Assessing Barack Obama's Africa Policy: Suggestions for Him and African Leaders

Academic journal article African Studies Quarterly

Abdul Karim Bangura, Ed. 2015. Assessing Barack Obama's Africa Policy: Suggestions for Him and African Leaders

Article excerpt

Abdul Karim Bangura, ed. 2015. Assessing Barack Obama's Africa Policy: Suggestions for Him and African Leaders. Lanham: University Press of America. 362 pp.

This book's seventeen chapters make an assessment of President Barack Obama's African foreign policy. It further provides useful suggestions for him and African political leaders. The first chapter, by Peter A. Dumbuya, considers the dynamics of US relations with Africa. He argues that change in the Obama administration's Africa policy depends not so much on substantive policy differences with Bush administration, for there are continuities in some parts of Africa. In chapter two, Ivor Agyeman-Duah focuses on the topic "race and the great expectations," espousing the view that the first success of Obama's presidency was the confidence that it gave to African-American and other children from minority backgrounds. Additionally, the chapter identified various strategies directed towards ameliorating racial problems and development assistance to Africa. This chapter also emphasized the need for Africa to take its destiny in its own hand even as it enjoys the benefit of US development assistance.

Chapter three, by Jack Mangala, interrogates the symbolic importance, historic significance, and political relevance of Obama's visits to Egypt and Ghana, arguing that the four areas (democracy, development, public health and conflicts) critical to Africa's future and the entire developing world Obama outlined were not backed by any substantive policy announcements or proposals. Chapter four discusses the history and events leading up to the conflict in Libya. Chapter five focused on the war in Somalia, investigating the Obama Administration's approach to Somalia to ascertain the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the strategies implemented and to make sound policy recommendations. The author argued that Somalia stands out as having had the most US-led military operations carried out on its soil in pursuit of eliminating terrorist cells and fighting piracy.

Chapter six addresses the US role in helping the Ugandan government capture Joseph Kony and "decapitate" the leadership of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Chapter seven examines the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire and the Obama Administration policy towards it. The author asserts that US development assistance to Cote d'Ivoire, like the rest of the continent, appears more as a means to strengthen American economic and geopolitical interests in the country. …

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