Four U.S. Policy Priorities for Africa in 2016

There were some positive developments for U.S. interests in Africa in 2015. Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation and boasting its largest economy, peacefully elected a new president. Congress reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to Tunisia, a fledgling democratic ally in the crosshairs of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The African Growth and Opportunity Act, a linchpin of U.S. engagement with the continent, was renewed.

However, many challenges remain for 2016. The U.S. and its allies still lack a strategy for Libya even as the nation descends deeper into chaos. Democratic gains are being rolled back across the continent, and terrorist and political violence threatens a number of American allies in the region. Four African policy priorities for the U.S. in 2016 are countering political and Islamist terrorist violence, promoting economic freedom in Africa, remaining watchful of other countries growing influence on the continent, and encouraging countries to recommit to their democratic transitions.

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