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Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:20 AM

Good article on future SOS Kerry and US - Africa relations

Updated OP. Hat tip to Basic Black Now via EBONY magazine.

For Kerry, the nomination to Secretary of State is an appointment that culminates a career of service most recently as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry has been a key supporter of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy often emphasizing its strengths. But its the weak points in the administration’s record, notably in US relations with Africa, where Kerry’s diplomacy may prove to be the most needed.

During President Obama’s first term, the US has sought to address growth and conflict in Africa and has struggled to find policy answers to both. From the major economic growth on the continent to the destabilization of “safe states” like Mali and Nigeria, the United States has found itself in a new, complex chapter of Africa’s history.

In a recent Senate report, Kerry made the case for stricter human rights standards in conditions for US economic assistance. As Secretary of State, Kerry’s emphasis on consistency in policy would send the right message to the leaders and people of sub Saharan Africa and within the US foreign service.

As important as its response to Africa’s conflicts will be the US’ response to Africa’s growth. With a forecasted growth rate of 6 percent per year, Africa is the world’s second fastest region behind Asia. Of the world’s ten fastest growing economies, seven of them are African countries. With its growing consumer markets, growing labor force and natural resources, Africa has seen a boom in foreign investment and economists predict the continent will have a $2.6 trillion combined GDP by 2020.

As a supporter of extending the African Growth and Opportunity Act, Kerry was part of the effort to provide 200,000 African workers with jobs. As Secretary of State, Kerry’s main challenge will be seeing beyond Foggy Bottom’s penchant for viewing Africa through a humanitarian lens to seeing it as a major economic partner.

Addressing Africa’s growth as well as its conflicts could be a chance for the US to turn the page in its dealing on the continent. While he may not be the nominee that some progressives hoped for, Kerry could be the quiet diplomat that US relations with Africa needs.


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Reply Good article on future SOS Kerry and US - Africa relations (Original post)
politicasista Dec 2012 OP
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #1
wisteria Dec 2012 #3
wisteria Dec 2012 #2

Response to politicasista (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 12:58 AM

1. Africa's gain will be our loss. We need John Kerry in the Senate, not in the State Department.

Someone else could be Secretary of State.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:07 AM

3. I am certain many will feel his loss in the Senate, but things will be fine.

This is a wonderful new position for John Kerry. And, as far as the Senate goes, if you are concerned about Brown, don't be, the President, Bill Clinton and perhaps even Hilary will be campaigning in Mass. for the Democratic candidate. The President has promised full White House support. Brown doesn't have a chance in hell.

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Response to politicasista (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 02:03 AM

2. Great commentary.

As SOS he can do more now than as a Senator.

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