Trump's New Africa Strategy -- Fighting Corruption and Authoritarian Rule While Promoting Trade to Contest China

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Patrick Ho, alleged bribe-man, shown with Ugandan dictator Gen. Museveni and foreign minister Sam Kutesa in State House.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. will work with political reformers in Africa, target with sanctions leaders who commit human rights abuses, and suspend foreign aid to countries where corruption is rampant rather than see funds stolen by the ruling elite.

The policy directive is contained in the 55-page National Security Strategy of the United States of America issued by The White House today, outlining U.S. domestic and foreign policy and plans.

The National Security Strategy "puts America first," states the report which then outlines policies for securing U.S borders, boosting the economy through research and global trade, and dealing with foreign threats from extremist organizations and WMDs.

The latter section focuses on global regions--the section dealing with Africa runs from page 52 to page 53. It is the first definitive articulation of U.S.-Africa policy under the Trump Administration.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/NSS-Final-12-18-20...

The U.S will work closely with reform-minded governments and also encourage African economic integration, according to the report. The U.S. plans to boost trade and commerce with African countries to counter China's economic influence.

The report states that China over the last 20 years has gained competitive economic advantage in Africa over the U.S. particular in extractive resources by paying bribes to African officials.

The report states that even though the U.S. will assist African countries in dealing with humanitarian needs, and work with regional organizations and committed governments to tackle "the root causes of human suffering" the U.S. will take action against abusive regimes.

"If necessary, we are prepared to sanction government officials
and institutions that prey on their citizens and commit atrocities," states the report. "When there is no alternative, we will suspend aid rather than see it exploited by corrupt elites."

Reflecting the new U.S. approach, in a recent highly publicized case, U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment against a Chinese national, Patrick Ho, who allegedly on behalf of a Shanghai-based oil company offered a $2 million bribe to Chadian President Idris Deby, and gave "special" gifts to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and the country's foreign minister Sam Kutesa. Allegedly, Kutesa also received $500,000 wired to his Ugandan account from a U.S. bank.

http://www.blackstarnews.com/us-politics/justice/us-says-ugandan-foreign...

The bribe money and gifts were allegedly to win favorable concessions in several areas of business in Uganda and in the oil industry in both Chad and Uganda. The Chinese national, Patrick Ho was arrested in New York as was Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, Senegal's former foreign minister, who allegedly was a middleman in dealing with Deby; both men are on trial in federal district court in New York. Kutesa is believed to be in Uganda. The Justice Department declined to say whether Kutesa too has been indicted and if his U.S. entry visa was revoked.

The National Security Strategy report also reveals U.S. strategy for countering China's economic penetration in Africa and says the U.S. will continue to partner with African countries to combat extremist forces, including Al-qaeda.

"Africa remains a continent of promise and enduring challenges. Africa contains many of the world's fastest growing economies, which represent potential new markets for U.S. goods and services," states the report. "Aspiring partners across the continent are eager to build market-based economies and enhance stability. The demand for quality American exports is high and will likely grow as Africa’s population and prosperity increase."

"People across the continent are demanding government accountability and less corruption, and are opposing autocratic trends," the report adds. "The number of stable African nations has grown since the independence era as numerous countries have emerged from devastating conflicts and undergone
democratic transitions. Despite this progress, many states face political turbulence and instability that spills into other
regions. Corruption and weak governance threaten to undermine the political benefits that should emerge from new economic opportunities."

The report states that many countries on the continent have increasingly become battlegrounds for "violent extremism and jihadist terrorists" such as ISIS ans al-Qaida and affiliate groups who target Americans and U.S. interests. "African nations and regional organizations have demonstrated a commitment to confront the threat from jihadist terrorist organizations, but their security capabilities remain weak," states the report.

"We will continue to work with partners to improve the ability of their security services to counter terrorism, human trafficking, and the illegal trade in arms and natural resources. We will work with partners to defeat terrorist organizations and others who threaten U.S. citizens and the homeland."

The report acknowledges China's military and economic rise to power and influence in Africa, "from a small investor in the continent two decades ago into Africa's largest trading partner today."

"Some Chinese practices undermine Africa’s long-term development by corrupting elites, dominating extractive industries, and locking countries into unsustainable and opaque debts and commitments," the National Security Strategy report states.

"The United States seeks sovereign African states that are integrated into the world economy, able to provide for their citizens' needs, and capable of managing threats to peace and security. Improved governance in these states supports economic development and opportunities, diminishes the
attraction of illegal migration, and reduces vulnerabilities to extremists, thereby reducing instability."

"The United States will partner with governments, civil society, and regional organizations to end long-running, violent conflicts.
We will encourage reform, working with promising nations to promote effective governance, improve the rule of law, and develop institutions accountable and responsive to citizens," adds the report. "We will expand trade and commercial ties to create jobs and build wealth for Americans and Africans. We will work with reform-oriented governments to help establish conditions that can transform them into trading partners and improve their business environment," states the report. "We will support economic integration among African states. We will work with nations that seek to move beyond assistance to partnerships that promote prosperity."

"We will offer American goods and services, both because it is profitable for us and because it serves as an alternative to China's often extractive economic footprint on the continent," states the report.

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