Obama’s Trip to Africa: Make It More Than a Photo-Op

President Obama will make his first extended trip to the Africa from June 26 to July 3, visiting Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa. This trip provides a strategic opportunity for the United States to reaffirm its commitment to the oft-cited U.S.–Africa partnership that Obama lauded during his first visit to Ghana in 2009. It is unlikely to do so, because the Administration has not sought to build any meaningful bilateral relations with individual African nations. The challenges posed by regional insecurity and terrorism remain under-addressed and the potential benefits from enhanced economic engagement with Africa unrealized. To address these concerns, the President’s trip should focus on China’s rising influence, deepening security cooperation, and realizing economic engagement.

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