Video Brief: Africa

March 8, 2012

Video Brief: Africa
Explainer Video
from Video and Transition 2012

Africa is of strategic and economic importance to the United States, and will require sufficient attention from the winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, says CFR’s John Campbell. "It’s going to be important for a new administration to make room for African issues on the bilateral agendas it has with other countries," he says.

More From Our Experts

The more than fifty independent sub-Saharan African states are an extremely important bloc, each of which has a vote of equal weight to that of the United States in the UN General Assembly or in the World Trade Organization, Campbell emphasizes.

More on:

Elections and Voting

Sub-Saharan Africa

As a major zone of conflict, Africa has been the recipient of substantial U.S. humanitarian aid and a primary beneficiary of U.S.-sponsored peacekeeping missions, Campbell says. It is also critical to prioritize Africa when dealing with issues such as global health and international terrorism, he says.

Nigeria, with its large oil deposits and large population, and South Africa, which has the continent’s most developed economy, are of particular strategic importance to the United States, he notes. Any new administration will have to manage its relationship with these two countries, which are often rivals, "in a way that does not turn into a zero-sum game," says Campbell.

This video is part of Campaign 2012, a series of video briefings on the top foreign policy issues debated in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

More From Our Experts

More on:

Elections and Voting

Sub-Saharan Africa

Up
Close

Top Stories on CFR

Saudi Arabia

Unless the Saudi government speaks and acts quickly and honestly about the disappearance and reported killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, its own reputation will incur irreparable damage.

Climate Change

A recent study by noted climate scientists is particularly bad news for the planet’s most vulnerable regions, including the Arctic and small Pacific islands. 

China

As religious observance in China grows, the Chinese Communist Party continues to toughen oversight, increase religious persecution, and attempt to coopt state-sanctioned religious organizations.