Africa Program

U.S. Interests in Africa

Project Expert

John Campbell

Ralph Bunche Senior Fellow for Africa Policy Studies

About the Project

Seven of the UN's seventeen peacekeeping operations are currently located in Sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2013, the gross domestic income (GDI) of Sub-Saharan Africa was $1,615 (compared to the U.S. at $53,670). Governance is often remote from the people. Yet, Africa is changing. Since 2004 the gross domestic income (GDI) has increased by 250 percent and economic growth in 2014 is forecasted by the World Bank at 5.2 percent. The population of Africa is also expected to grow rapidly. One United Nations agency predicts that by 2050, Africans will account for 25 percent of the world's population, at nearly 2.4 billion. However, population growth and rapid urbanization are mixed blessings; both are related to the emergence of diseases such as HIV/AIDs and Ebola. There are governance and security issues challenging American interests. Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb in Mali, and Boko Haram in Nigeria are harshly anti-American, and even if they lack the capacity to strike the homeland they still threaten American interests in the region and those of our partners. Through my blog, Africa in Transition, and my roundtable series, U.S.-Africa Strategic Partnerships, I track African developments that may influence the United States and explore how Washington and African capitals can work together to their mutual benefit.

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