The United States redraws its policy in Africa to face the Russian and Chinese presence

The United States on Monday unveiled a comprehensive reformulation of its policy in sub-Saharan Africa, in which it intends to confront the Russian and Chinese presence and develop non-military methods against terrorism.

This new strategy, which takes into account the growing demographic importance of Africa and its weight in the United Nations, as well as its vast natural resources and opportunities, coincides with the beginning of the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, in his second African tour, which will take him to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.

This change also comes at a time when some say the US approach to combating extremist groups militarily in Africa has not yielded significant results.

The new guidance document released on Monday states that “the United States has a vested interest in ensuring that the region remains open and accessible to all, and that governments and peoples are able to make their own political decisions (…)”.

“Open societies generally tend to work in coordination with the United States, attract more American trade and investment … and counter the harmful activities of the PRC, Russia and other foreign actors,” he added.

The document, titled “U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa,” spells out four five-year goals: Supporting Open Societies, Achieving Democratic and Security Advances, Working for Post-Pandemic Recovery, Creating Economic Opportunity, Supporting Preservation and Adaptation climate, and a fair energy transition.

The US document refers to the White House’s accusations against Beijing and Moscow in Africa.

He considers that Beijing is acting in it as “a stage to challenge the rules-based international order, to promote its exclusive commercial and geopolitical interests (…) and to weaken the relations of the United States with the African peoples and governments.”

As for Russia, it “views the region as a porous environment for quasi-government and private military enterprises, often creating a state of instability for strategic and financial advantage,” according to the US document, which also refers to the use of “disinformation”. .”

While some 70 percent of Africans express strong support for democracy, the number of so-called free states has dropped to eight, a number not so low in thirty years.

The document proposes greater efforts to “stop the recent wave of authoritarianism and military coups by working with allies and partners in the region to respond to democratic backsliding and human rights abuses.”

He added that the United States would use its “unilateral capabilities,” meaning its military, against terrorist targets “only when legal and where the threat is most acute.”

The goal is to prioritize “civilian-led approaches where feasible and effective.”

America’s interest in Africa has often not overshadowed its priorities, and the administration hopes to change its policy.

A US-Africa summit is scheduled for December 13 in Washington.