The United States has poured more investment into Africa under President Donald Trump than under any previous administration.
That’s according to Aubrey Hruby of the Atlantic Council, who admitted she was stunned to learn the facts.
Hruby told Al Jazeera (via the Daily Maverick, a South African news website) that the Trump administration’s investment was partly an effort to challenge China on the continent.
The Daily Maverick reported on Thursday:
Aubrey Hruby, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and co-author of the book The Next Africa, has told Al Jazeera that the US DFC [Development Finance Corporation] with its larger investment cap, provides an opportunity for the US to reframe the way it does development in Africa.
She said it was “utterly surprising” that this was happening under President Donald Trump, who has been criticised for derogatory comments about Africa and who previously proposed scrapping funding for Opic, which provided US companies with investment guarantees. She said in many ways, more resources had been put into Africa and US companies in Africa under the Trump administration than any other.
Critics once complained that President Trump lacked interest in Africa (at least outside of South Africa, where he has drawn attention to the plight of white farmers, who are often the targets of brutal crime). They also accused him of referring to some African nations as “sh*thole countries” (though he and others present denied the accusation).
Yet as the Daily Maverick notes, Trump is proposing to fund the DFC with $60 billion for investment in Africa, and has launched the Prosper Africa program, which aims to “double two-way trade and investment between the world’s biggest economy and the continent by 2025,” according to Bloomberg News.
The Daily Maverick notes that $60 billion is also the amount that China committed last year to invest in Africa, underlining the emerging rivalry.
The Trump administration has also taken an interest in broader social and economic issues in Africa. White House adviser (and presidential daughter) Ivanka Trump recently visited the continent to focus on women’s economic empowerment, and the president has encouraged African nations to decriminalize homosexuality, as Botswana recently did.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.