Published on Africa Action.org, by Gerald LeMelle, January 21, 2010.
The Africa Policy Outlook is an annual publication released jointly by Africa Action and Foreign Policy In Focus, that highlights key themes and trends in U.S. Africa policy. See the final page for a general schedule of African elections planned for 2010.
In 2009, Washington flat-lined funding for HIV/AIDS, resuscitated and empowered the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and tripled the budget for the Military Command for Africa established under President George W. Bush. These policies all contributed to further entrenching poverty, the leading threat to human security, as well as U.S. national security in the region.
The United States has pushed for deregulation, free trade, and structural adjustment programs to poor countries. It has also increasingly militarized foreign policy. As such, the United States is missing a historic opportunity to leverage its enormous economic and political power to lead the international community in a global fight to eliminate poverty, disease, and conflict.
In this new decade, U.S. policy toward Africa must support the full spectrum of human rights on the continent, and it must be inseparably integrated as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy. Human rights are the foundation for political and social stability and economic progress … (full long 12 pages pdf).