Despite his escapades – he had called African countries shitty countries – his unilateral decisions (threatening Rwanda to withdraw him from AGOA if it banned American thrift stores), his theatrical sulks (as when ‘he refused to receive the Congolese President, Denis Sassou Nguesso), of his diatribes against Nelson Mandela, Donald Trump does have a “vision” for Africa. But make no mistake, the “Prosper Africa” initiative is not a philanthropy.
The main objective of the said initiative is to help American companies « wishing to do business in Africa ». Above all, no question of official development assistance (ODA), assistance that the tenant of the White House wanted to reduce, meeting the refusal of Congress. It is within the framework of the American vision of development that the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) was set up to take over from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which, until then, provided guarantees for American investment projects. This change is accompanied by the raising of the institution’s capacity, from 29 billion dollars to 60 billion dollars, the majority of which is devoted to Africa.
Donald Trump’s African policy was hitherto articulated through Tibor Nagy, Deputy Secretary of State for Africa since July 2018, replaced a few weeks ago by John Barsa and Mark Green (former ambassador to Tanzania), administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) since August 2017.
For their part, African countries would no doubt have voted Joe Biden, the Democratic candidate for the US presidential election next November, at the top of the polls, while harboring little illusions about the US approach to Africa. Perhaps if he is re-elected, Donald Trump, who had royally ignored an invitation from African countries to come and attend the African Union summit, will change his mind.