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Trump and Africa

The reactions in Africa, and of Africawatchers, to Donald Trump’s victory in the US election have ranged from the distraught and horrified, to the opportunistic, to the downright bizarre. Here is a selection of a dozen articles that have been published in the past ten days.

Needless to say, inclusion of an article does not imply endorsement by ARI of the views expressed.

(Lynsey Chutel, Quartz Africa)

“Glimpses at Trump’s broader foreign policy suggest he’ll favour a mix of aggression and isolationism over increased global co-operation, and is unlikely to be a champion of humanitarian aid. All of that is bad news for Africa”

(Alex Magaisa,

“However disagreeable a Trump presidency might be to some, it is a credit to the democratic process that the US is getting a new president after a hotly-contested election in which there was no state-sponsored violence, no rigging, no gross electoral malpractices…Spare a thought for the citizen of Zimbabwe”

(Alastair Leithead, BBC News)

Six key things that need to be in President Trump’s inbox

(Simon Allison, Daily Maverick)

“His election is bad news – very bad news – for Africa”

(Africa Review)

“’Do not be overwhelmed by people like Donald Trump and the global coalition fighting our brethren’ warned Abubakar Shekau, leader of the jihadist group Boko Haram, in an audio message on YouTube”

(Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa)

“Of course staying back home to build Africa comes with an advantage: decades of brain drain can be halted with the continent’s best minds lending their brilliance to solving its problems”

(Patrick Smith, Africa Confidential)

“There are also concerns that a Trump administration might launch heavy-handed military interventions in Africa – in a new phase of the USA’s war on terror – that could exacerbate Africa’s mounting security problems”

(Lynsey Chutel, Quartz Africa)

“Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was clear about her disappointment with America’s failure to elect a woman to the White House [and] was also bold enough to list her concerns over president-elect Donald Trump’s rule”

(Ambassador John Campbell, Council on Foreign Relations)

“Alas, there is nothing new about American inattention to Africa, always leaving aside headline grabbing episodes of pandemic disease and terrorism”

(Conor Gaffey, Newsweek)

“Pro-Biafra separatists are celebrating the victory of Donald Trump, believing that they have found a kindred spirit who can help their cause”

(J. Peter Pham, The Hill)

“Quite simply because of the economic dynamism as well as the very real security, humanitarian and developmental challenges that are still found [in Africa], the foreign policy approach based on American interests and the shared interests of her allies in stability and prosperity that Trump has called for cannot but include a significant Africa dimension”

(Abdi Latif Dahir, Quartz Africa)

“If Africa cannot benefit from regional integration, then it is certain to get pushed to the margins even further globally. The only way for the continent to benefit from a Trump trade policy, good or bad, will be to trade with each other first”

With two months until his inauguration as president, Donald Trump and his team have a little time to develop their thinking on Africa and its diverse states. Until then, commentators will continue to speculate and, no doubt, to satirise.