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US Foreign Policy towards Ghana and Tanzania: An Afrocentric Review.

1. Introduction

Following the introductory section of this article, we offer a conceptualisation and contextualisation of Afrocentricity as an alternative theoretical perspective for grappling with foreign policy issues in a changing geopolitical environment. The next part will entail a detailed account of the application of Afrocentricity to explore the subject of post-Cold War US foreign policy towards Africa with specific reference to Ghana in western Africa and Tanzania in southern Africa (by virtue of its membership of the Southern African Development Community--SADC). The rationale for preluding the discussion about the subject of US foreign policy with Afrocentric theoretical perspectives is to acknowledge previous concerted efforts by scholar-activists to shift the geography of reason in relation to how we can rethink the strategic questions facing Africa, especially its relations with Western powers. The Strategic Studies and US foreign policy in particular have been largely located within the Euro-American world view (Zondi 2016). Hence, much of the academic literature in this discipline is deliberately silent about the contributions and influences of Africa, Africans and people of African descent in the evolution of international relations as praxis and International Relations as an academic discipline (Mvulane-Moloi 2012). The foregoing observation must be understood within the context of the overlap between Strategic Studies and International Relations. The little acknowledgement that has been done in this regard has often treated Africans as the subjects of the diplomatic and academic discourse; instead of correctly appropriating them to the role of agents. The foregoing narrative has contributed nothing except to nourish the deeply entrenched epistemic apartheid and to marginalise in the context of global politics.

Ideally, the agents of the diplomatic discourse ought to engage and influence their counterparts in the academy and vice versa. But the Euro-American worldview has the propensity to produce the realities that suggests that, on the ground there is a widening gap between the scholars and practitioners of Strategic Studies. The truth of the matter is that indeed, there is a gap between scholars and practitioners of Strategic Studies in Africa and this is a consequence of the deeply entrenched colonial power relations between the developing countries including African states and former colonial powers such as Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal as well as their key ally, the US. However, a closer scrutiny of the EuroAmerican society reveals a peculiar and close relationship between the scholars and practitioners (Shai 2016). That is, practitioners in the US and European countries are scholars in their own right, and at times academics openly or secretly inform foreign policy processes at various levels. That such is not the case in Africa and the global South is a creation of the colonial system, that sought to entrench the EuroAmerican supremacy in the knowledge structures of the global political economy while pushing African states individually and collectively to the periphery (McGowan 2002).

Conversely, this article is a contribution towards epistemic disobedience as it seeks to break the perceived umbilical cord between conventional state-centric theories in Strategic Studies and the subject of US foreign policy towards Africa. Aptly put, the general objective of this article is to acknowledge the marginalisation of non-Western theories such as Afrocentricity in the evolution of the very foundations of thinking in Strategic Studies.

2. Why theoretical reflections matter?

In the main, this section of the article shows the distinction between three dominant theories in Strategic Studies. A closer look at them shows that they share ethnocentric purviews. They do not in any way draw from the canons of African value systems such as collective responsibility oneness, corporateness, togetherness, spiritualism and circularity (Mazama 2001). It is instructive for the reader to note that most of the literature in Strategic Studies is informed by three mainstream theories in International Relations, namely: realism, idealism and Marxism. This assertion must be understood within the context that Strategic Studies is understood within certain circles as an off-shoot of International Relations. The theories of realism, idealism and Marxism have been very useful in the analysis of the behaviour of individuals, states and other actors in the international system. While the usefulness of the three theories in the study of foreign policy is documented, it is quite impossible to indicate which one is more important than the other While Marxism remains an authoritative school of thought in the social sciences, it is argued that its influence on Strategic Studies scholarship has been diluted by realism. This should be understood within the context of the general belief that Karl Marx had followed realist principles way before critical realism gained the required recognition of a theory within the academic circles (Ehrbar 1998). In relation to this, Dunn's (2004: 148) account of Africa's ambiguous relation to the empire correctly alludes that among the challenges of marxist-inclined scholarship of Strategic Studies is "the portrayal of Africans as helpless, agency-less victims". To this end, post-1990 George Bush Sr, Bill Clinton, George W Bush Jr and Barack Obama may have either used the aspects of either realism or idealism or the combination of both, in conceiving and executing their various foreign policies towards Africa. Contextually Mlam (1992) considers Marxism as an off-shoot of Afrocentric research. The alleged repose between Marxism and Afrocentric research downplays the reality that the former (Marxism) has been conceptualised within the European setup and as such, it tends to simplify or overlook the economic ramifications of white supremacy on non-whites in Africa and elsewhere (Miam 1992). In challenging and dismissing the universalisation of the below listed principles of realism and idealism, Dunn (2004: 149) has unequivocally observed that "African experiences indicate a far more complicated picture of current international relations". In other words, scholarship on matters that have a bearing on Africa cannot be complete without it benefiting from the lens of African evidence (Dunn 2004).

The theory of realism subscribes to the following key principles:

* the international system is anarchic,

* sovereign states are the principal actors in the international system,

* states are rational actors acting in their national interests,

* the overriding goal of each state is its own security and survival, and

* state survival is guaranteed best by power, principally military in character

(McGowan and Nel 2006: 26-30).

Given the amount and volume of texts and authors of realism, a historic conundrum facing scholars has been to determine if there is a unified theory of realism or many. The latter debate is based on three classifications which include: classical realism as advocated by scholars such as Thucydides, Michiavelli, Morgenthau, structural realism as propagated by Rousseau, Waltz, Mearsheimer and neo-classical realism as pioneered by Zakaria (Dunne and Schmidt 2008: 96). Notwithstanding all of the above, this article stands with Tim Dunne and Brian C Schmidt (2008: 92-95) who assert that the core values of statism, survival and self-help features across all the strands of realism.

Unlike realism which regards the 'international' as an anarchic realm, idealism (also called liberalism) seeks to project values of order, liberty justice, and tolerance in international relations (Dunne 2008: 111). Idealists further claim that:

* Absolute gains can be made through cooperation and interdependence-thus peace can be achieved,

* the international system presents plenty of opportunities for cooperation and broader notions of power,

* state preferences, rather than state capabilities are the primary determinants of state behaviour, and

* interaction between states is not limited to political (high politics), but also economic (low politics) (McGowan and Nel 2006: 30-33).

What can be deduced from the foregoing analysis is that the discussed EuroAmerican theories are inadequate for understanding Africa's international relations especially Africa's difficult relations with the West. For example, most EuroAmerican centred studies on Africa's international relations fell into the misguided trap of the binary standing of states as either weak or strong, good or evil, rich or poor and so forth (Maserumule 2015a; Pika and Maltese 2014). All of these invocations imports from realism and idealism. Issues like culture, religion and racism that may be more revealing to the reality of Africa's international relations are often neglected.

3. The lens of African evidence

There is no gainsaying that the theories of realism and idealism have been over-used in the field of Strategic Studies as compared to Marxism and the emerging theory of Afrocentricity (Moloi-Mvulane 2012; Nganje 2012; Shai and Molapo 2015). Whie the researcher uses Afrocentricity in this article, realism [and Marxism] and idealism are presented as popular theories in the field of Strategic Studies. Quick browsing of the contemporary literature on Afrocentricity attests that it has received more attention, mainly from the scholars of phiosophy, psychology linguistics and literary studies. As a result, this article is an attempt to afford it space for application in the field of Strategic Studies especially in the area of US foreign policy towards Africa. To achieve this, the researcher has drawn theoretical and phiosophical insights from the existing body of Afrocentric literature to deconstruct the current discourse on US Africa policy and to construct an alternative perspective in this regard.

While the scientific integrity validity and relevance of Afrocentricity in probing complex social phenomena is contested, there is no gainsaying that when used with other approaches it is likely to provide a qualitatively new picture of US foreign policy compared to a study that is purely underpinned by Eurocentric frameworks (Asante 2003; Maserumule 2015a). This should be understood within the context that Afrocentricity as articulated by Molefi Kete Asante, Ama Mazama, Danjuma Sinue Modupe and Adisa A Alkebulan, embraces progressive elements of other theoretical frameworks including realism and idealism, whie aiming for African perspectives on phenomena. Adding his voice to the foregoing analysis, Syed H Alatas (as cited by Chilisa 2012: 24) says, "no society can develop by inventing everything on its own. When something is found effective and useful, it is desirable that it should be adapted and assimilated, whether it be an artefact or an attitude of mind". It goes without saying that the above expression by Alatas poses a serious challenge for the Western analytical epistemologies and paradigms. The latter contaminates human and social science disciplines, so that they "tend to polarise situations instead of recognising the unities and complementarities that exist between them" (Nabudere 2012: 3-4). As cited by Nabudere (2012: 34), David Bohm argues that epistemic fragmentation has destructive and violent consequences for the historically marginalised knowledge systems. In this regard, he calls for an urgent need for the reshaping of "our worldviews through a new language" and the construction of "a new phiosophic approach representing a new worldview" which entails nature, society ourselves, our language, history heritage and so forth (Nabudere 2012: 34).

Categorically, Asante as cited by Modupe (2003: 62-63) conceptualised and explained three elements of the Afrocentric framework as follows:

* grounding is the process of learning that is centred on the Africans, their history culture and continent;

* orientation "is having and pursuing intellectual interest in the African and the formation of a psychological identity direction, based upon that interest, in the direction toward Africa"; and

* perspective denotes self-awareness of viewing and affecting the world in a manner that prioritise the african interests and which is suggestive of the quality, kind and amount of the above mentioned two elements.

Emerging from the above, it is argued that the three elements of Afrocentricity fit in the current article. Shai (2018: 372) avers that "Afrocentricity explains the history of resources exploitation and the relationship between resource-producing African countries and Western countries". Most of the previous studies in this area have been immersed in purely Euro-American knowledge systems; which have been wrongly presented as universally applicable (Maserumule 2015a). In the process, indigenous African knowledge systems were marginalised in the evolution of International Relations as both a praxis and academic discipline (Mvulane-Moloi 2012; Maserumule 2015b). It is within this context that the current article uses Afrocentricity to reverse this epistemic injustice by un-muting the silent voices of Afrocentric scholars. Hence, the integration of theoretical and worldviews has a potential to produce the social reality, which is cognisant and respectful of the diversity, transdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity of theoretical and worldviews (Hoppers 2002). According to Dunn (2004: 159) "incorporating African experiences helps us construct a subaltern perspective of international relations". Regardless of contradicting evidence and obvious limitations of the non-peripheral knowledge systems, the foregoing analysis is a vindication of the fact that Westernised scholars "assume that what is true in their Western context must be true for the world at large" (Dunn 2004: 159).

4. The nexus between realism, idealism and Afrocentricity

Afrocentricity is understood in this article as the by-product of the fusion of the progressive ideals of predominantly Western frameworks such as realism and idealism with predominantly African philosophical perspective. In certain circles Afrocentricity is also called African critical theory (Modupe 2003: 64). African critical theory seeks to invoke a change or transformation, rather than a mere explanation and understanding of the phenomena explored. To this end, an Afrocentric enquiry should reorganise the frame of reference to ensure that Africans, their culture, ideals and history preoccupy analysis, synthesis, critique and correction. The envisaged revision of contemporary studies is necessary because the present epoch has witnessed the multiplicity and contestation of historical records and narratives of the same societies (Dunn 2004: 159). In his seminal work on Afrocentricity as a theory of social change, Asante (2003: 56) notes that:
Afrocentricity can stand its ground among any ideology or religion.
Your Afrocentricity will emerge in the presence of other ideologies
because it is from you. It is a truth, even though it may not be their

The invocation of the above expression in the section of this article does not in any way suggest that Afrocentricity is an ideology. Even if it can be considered in certain circles as an ideology; herein it is employed as a theoretical paradigm and guiding tool to study US-Africa relations using Ghana and Tanzania as country case studies. It is important to note that ideologies are derived on theories and in the same vein, theories are reinforced by ideologies. Equally important, the introduction of the mainstream International Relations theories (realism and idealism) and their link to Afrocentricity in this section of the article was aimed at showing the differences between them. Like Afrocentricity, constructivism and quantum physics highly appreciate the analytical value of social context (Simmons and Martin 2001).

5. US foreign policy and Africa in perspective

Flowing from the above, it is clear that there is wide body of literature on the US foreign policy in Africa. The review above addressed conceptual issues of this article in detail. It also paid attention to the US foreign policy at the global, continental (Africa) and bilateral level (Ghana and Tanzania). This review has also drawn a distinction between Afrocentricity from the mainstream theories of International Relations (realism and idealism). Furthermore, it hinted a sound justification for the choice of the former (Afrocentricity) as the theoretical framework for this article. However, a key lesson drawn from this literature review exercise is the difficulty of getting sufficient and up to date academic literature on the US foreign policy towards the two case studies (Ghana and Tanzania). It would appear that central to the limitations of the existing body of literature accessed by the researcher on the current research theme has been the absence of an Afrocentric perspective. As such, it was observed that the current article is probably the first one to compare and critique the post-Cold War US foreign policy towards Ghana and Tanzania from an Afrocentric perspective.

Africa is the second largest continent after Asia in terms of population geography and it is rich in terms of petroleum, mineral and gas resources. As such, some major global players such as the US and China are heavily reliant upon the continent for such commodities and other strategic interests tied to them (Shai 2010). Adding credence to this perspective from African evidence, Gordon, Miller Jr and Wolpe (1998: 31) observe that "Africa also remains the source of many minerals strategic to the United States: 54% of the world cobalt, 32% of bauxite, 52% of manganese and 81% chromium stocks". Equally, the youth bulge and growing middle class of Africa is viewed by several global players including the US as a lucrative market for their commodities. As such, the US would try to curb China's influence on the continent. This article used Ghana and Tanzania as test cases to critique the US foreign policy towards Africa in the post-Cold War era from an African perspective. Owing to the vastness of Africa as a continent, this article cannot claim to be representative but it has used both Ghana and Tanzania to show the patterns of the US engagement in Africa, in West Africa and East Africa in particular. Ghana and Tanzania were chosen as the cases for this research due to the active engagement of Washington, DC (administrative capital of the US) with Accra (Ghana) and Dodoma (Tanzania) in the recent past. The inclusion of both Ghana and Tanzania in the US's Partnership for Growth and the recent visit by Obama to these countries constitute the multiple indications of closer engagement between Washington with Accra and Dodoma (US Department of State 2011).

At the core this article is to explore the economic, political and security dimensions in US foreign policy towards Africa using the following: oil, democracy and national security. These are the three areas in which the US engagement in Africa was found to be active (Gordon, Miller Jr and Wolpe 1998; Shai 2010). However, the African oil reserves and the terrorist threat on the continent were found to be the major drivers of the US foreign policy. Thus tangible issues (that is, security threats and natural resources) were found to be taking precedence over the intangibles such as democracy. In the context of the period under review (1990-2014), it is evidently clear that the US foreign policy practitioners focused mainly on the increasing significance of matters of life and death and the less relevant of moral judgements in their conduct of international relations (Mazrui 2004). With reference to the test cases for this article, the agenda for democratic consolidation features prominently on both of them while oil is only applicable to Ghana in this regard. In the context of the above, it is worth emphasising that Ghana and Tanzania are to a larger extent, stable democracies and the US maintains closer ties with them for strategic, political and economic reasons. Hence, Ghana has joined the bloc of oil producing countries in the Gulf of Guinea since the discovery of 'black gold' in its shores during the year 2007. It is not unimportant to also state that Tanzania is not yet an exporter of petroleum resources, but Dodoma continuously encourages US companies and investors to explore and build infrastructure for oil (Shai 2015). Even though Washington is fast driving towards self-reliance, it has been established that African oil is key for long term economic and energy security of the US; more especially because the US is looking for further investment opportunities in Africa's extractive industry as a counter-strategy to roll back the notable inroads made by Beijing in this regard.

In contrast, Tanzania distinguishes itself both as a victim of terrorism (terrorist threats) and equally so a strategic partner of the US anti-terrorism efforts in East Africa. Yet, oil in Ghana is important for the US both as an economic resource and strategic energy source for wartime period. Periodically, this article covers the presidencies of George W Bush Sr, Bill Clinton, George W Bush Jr and to a reasonable extent, Barack Obama. First, it was found that George W Bush Sr was at the helm of the US for a limited period of two years in the post-Cold War era and was not able to develop a clear foreign policy towards Africa. This was because of the disappearance of the communist threat in Africa following the collapse of the Soviet empire in the late 1980s and the emergence of major powers such as China, India and Brazil. He simply continued on the same space of his predecessor while pledging support for emerging democracies. A distinction should be drawn between rhetoric and action. Contextually, new challenges of the post-Cold War era and limited time robbed Bush of his privilege to develop an independent foreign policy towards Africa and instead put him at the sharp eye of analysts for having left no legacy for Africa. In this respect, Bush Sr's foreign policy in Africa envisaged the following: protection of few vital US interests and the promotion of open trade. This is symbolic of the change of foreign policy that is Cold War orientated to the other with a focus on new issues (Gordon, Miller Jr and Wolpe 1998).

However, overall the change of regime in the US in the post-Cold War era did not bring about any radical changes on the substance of its foreign policy towards Africa. This is because regardless of their political affiliations, the successive US administrations are in agreement when it comes to their strategic interests in Africa. This continuity can be largely attributed to the professionalisation of diplomatic practice in the US. The strategies developed and executed by the US under the administration of either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party in the postCold War era are more or less the same. They all contracted their foreign policies in Africa to client states or what they call 'pivotal states' such as Kenya and Nigeria and this practice dates back to the Cold War period (Mitchell 1998). Their foreign policies have also featured the essential elements of both realism and idealism. At the same time Americans, both democrats and republicans seldom differ on realist foreign policy priorities in Africa and elsewhere. In the post-Cold War era, both the changing administrations from the Republican Party to Democratic Party and vice versa, have a common purpose in accessing Africa's natural resources and containing the Chinese influence on the continent. It is within this continuum that successive US administrations viewed Africa through the perception of a threat and fear (Shai 2012).

The 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) strengthened the position of the Clinton administration that Africa is a high security risk and this was further solidified following the September 11 attacks. Despite this, they also acknowledge that Africa is an opportunity and if engaged properly, it can be a guarantor of their national security (Shai 2012). Both Clinton and Bush sought to use Africa to diversify US energy sources along those of the Middle East and Latin America. The most significant fact to explain the contradicting narrative of the US view of Africa as both a threat and opportunity is that the Americans are the most paranoid people on earth. The foregoing analysis should be understood within the context that the US military has killed many people from Afghanistan to Iraq. As a result, the American foreign policy practitioners know that their country has a lot of enemies and they go a long way to protect their nationals. It is crystal clear that the US spends a lot more money on defence than any state on earth. But the cauldron of the enemies of the US is fairly attributable to its controversial foreign policies around the globe.

Whereas African oil anchored the economic security of the US, this research found that its proceeds have not been used effectively to develop the population of oil exporting countries due to corruption, illegal trading and poor macro-economic management among key reasons. As a new entrant to the oil producing market, Ghana could draw hard lessons from other poor African states who are resource rich (that is, Equatorial Guinea and Angola). Equally important, Ghana can take soft lessons from resource-rich countries such as Botswana and Norway, who took precautionary measures to ward-off the 'Dutch disease' (Umejesi and Thompson 2015). Among other development paths to be followed, Ghana should diversify its economy and not limit itself to the petroleum industry as the mainstay of its economy. This move will ensure that its economy remains stable even when the prices of oil in the international market fluctuate.

Within this context, it is essential to highlight that the US has done very little to improve the deteriorating resource governance situation in Africa due to the limits imposed by its national interests. Some of the abnormalities in the affairs of the African oil exporting countries were blessed by the US in order to guarantee their availability as its suppliers of energy. Some of the illegal activities in oil trading in Africa have mushroomed as a result of the involvement of US officials who often share the returns of the loot with the local ruling political elites. It is now clear that there are no visible points of convergence between the policy goals of African states and the US especially in the area of oil trade and any other sectors whatsoever. This is an area that needs to be revisited by US politicians in order to arrest the globalisation of Africa's problems. While there are no clear signs of convergence between the interests of the US and African states; the major argument of this article is that the US and African states have more shared than competing interests.

Whereas it is important to help Africa police its borders to prevent the circulation of terrorists, the US should also capacitate Africa on non-military sectors instead of taking advantage of this continent's economic vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, the nature of the US military engagement in Africa is driven by the desire to safeguard its commercial interests centred on oil resources and the threat of terrorism is just an afterthought that is probable of inducing the Africans to be open to the Americans.

Furthermore, this article has established that the US foreign policy does not have specific principles as it is often claimed. This contradiction should be understood within the context of the gap between official rhetoric and action on the part of US when dealing with critical foreign policy issues concerning Africa. The values that are often mistaken to constitute the principles of America's foreign policy towards Africa are universal. It is strongly argued that the framework of US engagement differs from one country to the other. Irrespective of what is written in a particular strategy the American actions in Africa illustrates that tactical interests trump values in times of increased threat to security and commercial interests. To this end, the US influence in the political and economic governance has often brought about mixed results. It has groomed and trained dictators (that is, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt) and rebels (the late Jonas Savimbi of Angola) alike. On the other hand, it has backed processes and institutions that enabled majority rule to thrive in some states like Ghana and Tanzania in West Africa and East Africa, respectively.

Despite the consistent indifference of the US towards Africa, the empirical evidence suggest that the US engagement in Ghana and Tanzania is not a microcosm of the overall US policy towards the continent (Mazrui 2004). Relations with Ghana and Tanzania are warm and with Zimbabwe are cold. When considered in the context of regional focus, there is no convincing evidence that Ghana and Tanzania are the hearts of US foreign policy in West Africa and East Africa, respectively. Nigeria and Kenya are regional powers in West Africa and East Africa respectively, and they wield a lot of influence compared to Ghana and Tanzania. (1)) As such, Nigeria and Kenya remain the pivotal states for the US engagement in their respective regions. For the US, Ghana and Tanzania are the complementary allies who have been found attractive by Washington due to their political and ideological affinity to the US.

The US foreign aid remains among the key ingredients of political development in Africa, particularly in Ghana and Tanzania. But its positive role is often negated when it is provided in order to sustain a particular political course that undermines positive political and socio-economic relations. While emphasis on values in the development and implementation of foreign policy is understandable, such cannot be applied across the board but where possible, it can be used as means to rally the support for further strategic goals of the strategy in question.

It is clear that the manifestation of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) through its inhumane system of capitalism is parasitic of the benefits proclaimed by the liberal democratic project. The difference between Clinton, Bush and Obama in terms of Africa policy is on approach or style, while the content of their policies remain the same. The pattern of the deeds is the same, but there is no coherence regarding their rhetoric. Clinton preferred rhetorical flexibility while his successor opted for harsh diplomacy. This is an area that heightened his profile at the international stage despite failures on the question of Somalia and Rwanda in Africa. Hence, Clinton leaped a 'carrot' in the form of AGOA to gain more accessibility to the African markets. This is part of Clinton's policy that resembles the elements of the foreign policy of his predecessor in addition to a focus on human rights and nation building. Although AGOA was actualised under Clinton's successor, Bush's approach to the terrorist threat dampened the human face of his foreign policy in Africa.

There is little doubt Africa would be counted as one of Bush Jr's foreign policy legacies on humanitarian issues including poverty and HIV/AIDS. While President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) contributed immensely in the war against HIV/AIDS in Africa, the reality is that it was a well-calculated move by the Bush administration to help arrest this epidemic in Africa because its prevalence also threatens the security of the US as indicated earlier. To be sure, PEPFAR and its associates were feeding into the US strategy to combat the threat of terrorism and countries that benefited from it were expected to rally behind Washington. Linked to this, preventive war was the framework of Bush's foreign policy and democracy promotion was only stated as part of the overall strategy to combat terrorism. Chicago Council on Global Affairs (as cited by Drezner 2008: 16) conducted a study that illustrates that in the past decade and half, realist priorities have consistently earned more than 60% in the US while liberal policy priorities obtained less than 50%. The ultimate implications are that America's relations in Africa are not based on principles or values but desperate political interests.

In contrast, Obama's approach in Africa resembled a blend of development, defence and diplomacy. It is instructive to state that there is a general feeling among Africans and people of African descent in the US and elsewhere that George Bush Jr so far did more for Africa than any other US President. His administration channelled more aid into Africa and fast-tracked the implementation of AGOA. By all indications, the record of Obama's presidency on Africa shows that in the US the race factor is less important in the conduct of international relations. Hence, his presidency has not introduced any extraordinary changes towards US engagement in Africa. His retention of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), PEPFER, and renewal of AGOA is illustrative of the influence of the legacy of Clinton and Bush Jr on his administration's foreign policy towards Africa. Regardless of all of the above, it is not insignificant to state that at the country level, the relationship between the US with both Ghana and Tanzania is mutual. However, the former (Washington) derives more benefits than Accra and Dodoma due to its political, economic and diplomatic weight. Since Obama left the presidency office, the status quo appears to remain the same except for the racialisation of the US foreign policy towards Africa.

6. Conclusion

Gazing from the foregoing analysis, it is safe to state that this article makes a significant contribution in International Relations particularly on the role and place of 'political legacies' as they relate to the US foreign policy towards Africa. Also, the issue of political rhetoric is path-breaking. In the final analysis, the 'differential' foreign policy towards individual African states is also a significant observation which dispels the myth of a universal US foreign policy framework. As cited by Milam (1992: 9), James B Stewart takes the foregoing conclusion to another level when he articulates that "Eurocentrism [inclusive of Americans] is plagued by an inherent predisposition toward control and domination that produces attempts to create hierarchical rather than cooperative relationships with other peoples". Equally significant, drawing from the high level inter-marriages of the knowledge and experience of both academics and diplomats has enriched the potential of this article to introduce new and refreshing insights on the research theme. In the process, the author has appreciated in thought and action that Afrocentrists borrow things that are congruent to African values and positions. The author has embraced Afrocentricity's propagation that "all non-Afrocentric knowledge which may be traced in origins to Eurocentrism should be discarded" or rather, treated with suspicion as it is underlined by the concealed goal of maintaining Western supremacy in the knowledge structure of the International Political Economy and areas of life. Lastly, a key lesson of this article is the fact that despite the changing position of Africa in the world, yet old problems that persist, the question of changing US foreign policy over time is still outstanding. Conditions seem to remain largely the same. While this article serves as a stepping stone for future research on this theme, it may be helpful for future studies to focus on the foreign policy of individual African states towards the US.


(1.) In the case of East Africa, the question of regional 'power' is a dicey one. Hence, Kenya is a bigger economy, but it trails behind Tanzania in terms of military strength, role and place in international peacekeeping.


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Kgothatso B Shai

Department of Cultural and Political Studies University of Limpopo
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Author:Shai, Kgothatso B.
Publication:Strategic Review for Southern Africa
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Nov 1, 2018
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