Given the way the just concluded US presidential election turned out, can anyone safely predict what President Donald Trumpâ€™s program for Africa will look like. What common grounds could he be likely to share with Africa and African leaders? The President-Elect has obviously been a very successful international businessman, so is he likely to use a transactional foreign and economic policy with Africa. Quite frankly, no one should claim to know, given the abysmal way in which the pundits, pollster and the media performed in predicting whether Trump was going to win. So some people are saying that may be Africa should wait and see. But should Africa really wait and see? I usually don't like to wait and see because then you typically get what the other party wants, and not what you want. But even before talking about Mr. Trumpâ€™s presidency did Africa learn any lessons from the manner in which Mr. Trump won the election? He didn't have the Republican establishment, he didn't seem to have big media, he didn't even have as much as a dayâ€™s experience serving in government, yet he won a highly contested Republican Party primaries and then defeated the well oiled Obama/Clinton machine. How did he do it? Well he had a massage that resonated with much of the population. I know there are all kinds of theories out there about how Mr. Trump won mostly because he appealed to white voters. Well, at least for now you have to appeal to white voters if you are going to become the President of the United States. After all in 2008, Barack Obama won 43 percent of white voters and a stunning 54 percent of young white voters. The lesson is that the people must appreciate your message and vote for you. If that happens you won't need to forge and cheat or fight. You will just win. I think the people of Africa, especially the young people, are watching and will start to look for someone whose message appeals to them, regardless of ethnicity, political experience or religion. So now, what about programs like the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) where Africa can get many products into America duty free? How about the Millennium Challenge Account that provides financial support for fighting poverty through growth? How about the Presidentâ€™s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)? How about support for climate change funding in Africa and support in the fight against terrorism in Africa? How about buying crude oil from say Nigeria? Will President Trump continue these programs? Candidate Trump did not seem to like trade arrangements that weighed against the United States. Can African leaders arrange to reach President-elect Trump before his inauguration on Friday January 20, 2017? I believe that President Trump will be fair toward Africa and that Africa can have mutually beneficial gains with America, but African leaders will have to help work it out. Donald Trump is a business man. It's going to be all about trade not aid. I am Magnus Kpakol and that's my view.
Posted: Nov 23rd, 2016 @ 05:07:00 AM