Trump's Africa policy should end US aid to dictators, rights abusers

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Earlier this month, President Donald Trump was criticized for letting his “unelected” daughter Ivanka sit in for him during the high-level “Partnership with Africa, Migration and Health” session at the G-20. Ms. Trump was criticized for not making “any major contributions” to the session “during her father’s absence.”
Trump has been accused of ignoring and neglecting Africa. He has been criticized for “having Africa last in his first budget;” and the prophets of doom and gloom predict his “slash-and-burn cuts to the State Department and USAID would deepen the worst humanitarian crises since World War II.” Some have even suggested that aid cutbacks by the Trump administration could drive Africa’s unemployed youth into the hands of terrorists.
Trump has expressed “overall skepticism about the value of foreign aid, and even about American security interests, on the world’s second-largest continent.” And there is in fact substantial evidence that aid “from the rich countries has trapped many African nations in a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty.”
Additional “evidence” of Trump’s neglect and indifference towards Africa include his “ignorance” of the continent, his selective communication with only a couple of African leaders, his demands for accountability in U.S. Africa policy, the aborted appointment of  Rudolph Atallah “best known for his work on East Africa and counterterrorism issues” as National Security Council Africa director, his nonchalance in filling vacancies for assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for African affairs at the State Department and his general failure to promote human rights in Africa and elsewhere.

Read Aloud:   Ethiopia: Intellectual Genocide In The Making?

The inference to be drawn from all of the criticism is that the Trump administration simply fails “to realize the importance of Africa to U.S. national security interests, and America’s indispensable role in continuing to shape the democratic evolution of the continent,” and is callously turning its back on “more than 20 million people facing  starvation and famine” in Africa. The solution, apparently, is for Trump to appoint “moderate and experienced Africa experts” and old hands who perambulate through the revolving door of government, think tanks and consultancies.
Ultimately, the criticisms of Trump on his (lack of) Africa policy are dubious, deceptive and self-serving.
It is ironic that those who are criticizing Trump on Africa today seemed to have taken a vow of silence when Barack Obama befriended and wined and dined the most ruthless African dictators and overlooked their deplorable human rights and corruption records in the name of counter-terrorism cooperation. Few Trump critics today spoke out when Obama shamelessly called the regime in Ethiopia, which claimed to have won 100 percent of the seats in parliament in 2015,  “democratically elected.” That regime today rules by a draconian state of emergency decree.

Trump has made his foreign policy position crystal clear. It is “America First.” In April he declared,  “It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy” and “invite new voices and new visions into the fold.” He said he will follow a “foreign policy (that) will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else.”
In his official “remarks” to State Department employees in May, Secretary Tillerson said, “our overarching strategic approach” will be to determine our allies and partners on a country-by-country and region-by-region basis. He also declared that U.S. foreign policy will be propelled by “our fundamental values: our values around freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.”
In Africa, removing the “rust” from U.S. policy means disentanglement from partnership with African dictators because continuing with business as usual with them will not enhance American security; it only creates an untenable moral hazard.
The concept of “moral hazard” signifies a situation in which a government is insulated and immunized from the consequences of its negligent, reckless and incompetent behavior. African regimes heavily dependent on the safety net of American development and humanitarian aid, sustained infusion of multilateral loans will behave differently if they were left to their own devices to deal with the consequences of their mismanagement of their economies, tolerance of crippling corruption, chronic budget and food deficits, mushrooming poverty and unemployment and bad governance and face the wrath and fury of their citizens.

The moral hazard in U.S. policy in Africa comes also from the rewards of increasing amounts of aid and loans to buffer African dictatorships from a tsunami of democratic popular uprisings.
Many African regimes today avoid the demands of good governance, ignore the rule of law and commit gross violations of human rights in the belief that American taxpayer handouts will be there to bail them out. Since the 1960s, American taxpayers have provided over one trilliondollars which have served to sustain failed or failing African regimes.
There is substantial evidence showing that most African leaders are only interested in clinging to power cushioned by the financial support of American and other Western taxpayers. They are not interested in engaging America on what matters most to Americans — democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, accountability, transparency and the like. More democracy and greater respect for human rights necessarily means less famine and starvation and accelerated  development because a government that is not able, willing and ready to feed its people or effectively address poverty will be swept out of office by a hungry and angry electorate.
Trump needs to take a fresh start by first taking out the moral hazard in U.S. policy in Africa and by “” on how to wean Africa from aid addiction.
Trump should adopt a policy that facilitates partnership with the African people, not their dictators in the name of counter-terrorism.
Ultimately, American handouts and loans will not save Africa. Only Africans can save themselves.
The best way Trump can help Africa is by ending the insidious culture of competitive panhandling on the continent and ensuring that American national security and tax dollars are not entangled with the toils of African dictatorships.
Alemayehu (Al) Mariam is a professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, a constitutional lawyer and senior editor of theInternational Journal of Ethiopian Studies.


  1. No financial aid and trading with African countries that won’t establish a true and genuine democracy where rule of law runs supreme and free market capitalism is the engine of the economy. No aid or trading with african countries that adapted state capitalism from one of the worst and most brutal, corrupt and tyrannical governments in the world, COMMUNIST CHINA.
    The tyrannical ethiopian government not only is 110% undemocratic but also has adapted state capitalism and eats the yellow poop of communist china on a daily basis. Moreover, it is the most oppressive government in Africa. Therefore, Ethiopia should not only should not receive even a penny, from the land of the free and home of brave, but also should be placed on trade/economic and military sanction. PERIOD.

  2. USA taxi payer have no any reason to finance the dictators in Africa. The dictators, murderers who committed genocide have no right to receive the aid. Why in the the name of god the tplf/woyane the most corrupted creature on this planet should get aids. One must ask what has happened with the aid money. Where is the 40 billion US dollars has gone in Ethiopia. The regime in Ethiopia diverted all aids money it reeceived from the USA and EU.
    Ask Susanne Rice the lover of the dead meles zenawi.

  3. Capitalism is not the engine of any economy. It is only useful to the west which uses it to impoverish continents like Africa. If the west stops intervening in Africa (which it does for its purpose of resource exploitation) then Africa would be free and prosperous.

  4. I am impressed by how quickly this professor, Alemayehu, is learning. I is good to read articles like this.
    Egypt, an Arab nation, and the Americans and ‘Jew state’ have an agreement signed about 45 years ago to work together in some areas. The treaty is known as the Camp David Agreement, signed in Texas, USA. In the Al-ahram journal at the time, the Egyptians had stated the fear of upstream work and the need to secure the Nile water was what drove them to signing the accord in the face of fiercely angry Arabs who saw them as traitors. So in that statement we get the fact that the accord contains agreement that included making Ethiopia unable to work on the Nile waters. That is further confirmed by Copley in his Egypt strategic ramification article in 2011. In his article he stated that the breaking of the Camp David accord will lead to a sudden loss of Egypt’s Nile position and will radically affect its long-standing proxy war to keep Ethiopia which controls the headwaters and flow of the Blue Nile, the Nile’s biggest volume input landlocked and strategically impotent. So the capable enablers for the effectiveness of Arab attack on Ethiopia are the Americans those who call themselves Jews. The CIA and the MOSSAD are enemies of he Ethiopian people but puppeteering friends of the TPLF.
    In his book, superpower intervention in Africa, Herman Cohen admitted that the removal of the Derg and the subsequent installing of the TPLF and the EPLF in Addis Ababa and Asmara was masterminded and effected by the “Jews” with whom America worked towards that goal. So America’ CIA and and the MOSSAD of those who call themselves Jews were the architects of the breakup of Ethiopia. And further in the 1991 battles the TPLF waged to capture cities, the TPLF named its military campaigns: “Operation Teodros” and “Operation Wallelign” and “Operation Dula Billisuma Welkita” etc. “Operation something” is typical Mossad and CIA war nomenclature. It is clear the Marxist bozos who, when they first set out to “fight for the masses” sloganeered “against imperialism and Zionism” returned as hirelings of both “enemies” they went out against.
    Further, when the TPLF and the EPLF controlled Ethiopia, they both went straight to the Tana Beles Project In Gojjam. There was no military in the Tana Beles Project. The Project, if completed would feed the entire Ethiopia plus few other African nations for generations. Asmarinos and Tigryans would not starve anymore for they were going to have a continuous supply of food and a constantly available place to work at. The TPLF and the EPLF destroyed the Tana Beles project and ransacked all the equipment and machinery and trucks and what not. Now why would the TPLF stop the project, destroy it and cut off a constant supply of food for Tigray and the EPLF for Eritrea? The answer is simple: They got the instruction to do so from their puppeteers: the MOSSAD and the CIA.
    Further, when the Arab spring happened and when it hit Egypt those who call themselves Jews were in a quandary, and were agitated and were going around nations to help stop it. The election of Mohammed Morsi drove them crazy because he threatened to abandon the Camp David Treaty. They quickly ordered Meles Zenawi to dam the Nile River. When there was no mention of a grand renaissance dam or anything of that nature in the five year plan that the TPLF purports to have drafted, Meles Zenawi suddenly declared an intention to build the Abay Dam. Then Mohammed Morsi gathered key party leaders of Egypt and discussed what to do with Ethiopia. The Egyptians divulged many secrets of sabotage they do on Ethiopia in that meeting and the MOSSAD of the Jew State captured the discussion of that meeting and publicly displayed it in many web sites. Mohammed Morsi became a laughing stock and this occasion perhaps helped stage the coup against him. All the more interesting was the opinions of MOSSAD operatives in the comment sections of Morsi scandal reports concerning Ethiopia. The words, the expressions and the points raised in defense of Ethiopia were very touching and when I read many of them I realized that Ethiopians don’t even realize the degree of harm done to them by Egypt. The MOSSAD operatives expressed it so well that they must have known the details from very close. Then Morsi was deposed and the “Jews” got their man Al-Sissi in power. Now Al-Sissi threatened to strike the dam or to go to war and articles concerning the threat appeared in many online news postings. Now, the same MOSSAD operatives who were on Ethiopia’s side against Morsi turned around and started demonizing Ethiopia’s dam construction. They portrayed it as an intention to kill off the Egyptians by thirst. It is interesting how these people play. They are full of malice.
    The grand dam now underway was part of the Tana Beles Project that the TPLF together with the EPLF demolished. It was 10% of the total Tana Beles project. Why did the TPLF start part of a project that it destroyed? The answer is: the puppeteers, especially MOSSAD, instructed it to do so.
    We still see people, American Jews like David Shinn, working to further undermine the integrity of Ethiopia and to keep it in eternal fragmentation. Since Satanical Henry Kissinger became secretary of state, morality was taken out the American foreign policy and starving Africans has been one weapon used by the Americans to subjugate Africans. They use it to steal natural resources and to turn around and offer aid and they use the aid to install corrupt regimes who are at their service. Trump Africa policy is one hope by which American and hopefully MOSSAD subjugation can be eased.

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