How Do US Politics Impact Africa?

The 2020 US Election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was watched around the world with great excitement. Across Africa, the election was one of the most searched topics on the internet. 


The use of social media has allowed the African middle-class watch and read about global news. Also events including this important recent US election. 


How does US Politics work?


The United States of America (US) is a federal constitutional democratic republic. This means that every four years the country looks to elect a single head of state. The government called the President. 


The President is the candidate who receives 270 votes or more from the states known as Electoral Colleges. Each state has a different number of votes depending on the number of senators and representative they have. For example, the state of California has 55 votes while Texas has 38.


The US political system is dominated by two main political parties known as the Republicans and the Democrats. This means that the President is a member of one of these two parties. 


Who are the Republicans?


The Republicans,  known as the GOP (Grand Old Party). They are the conservative political party in the US. In recent years, the party has stood for lower taxes. Gun rights and tighter restrictions on immigration not withstanding. Support for this party tends to be stronger. This occur in rural parts of America with recent Republican presidents. This includes Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, George W Bush and Donald Trump.


Who are the Democrats?


The Democrats are the liberal political party in the US . They stand for higher taxes, renewable energy initiatives and greater welfare programs including universal healthcare. Support for the Democratic Party tends to come more from larger cities. Also with a tendency for the majority of African-Americans to vote for the Democrats.


Notable Democratic presidents including Bill Clinton and the first African-American president of the US, Barrack Obama


How does the president of the US impact Africa?


Africa has mostly played a minor role in United States foreign policy.  There are still many deep historical connections between Africa and the US. This is especially through the newly elected Democrats. 


There have been a number of well-known US social programs that have been promoted in Africa by Democrats. These includes thePeace Corps, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Young African Leadership Initiative


These programs come under threat with new presidents are elected. For example, the Trump administration move to block international aid funding in 2017. This has significantly harmed the ability of African countries with poor healthcare systems. Also to provide much needed services such as HIV testing, cervical cancer screen and contraceptives. 


America’s decision to block US Federal funding for NGOs has led to an increase in unwanted pregnancies. Abortions on African countries was also a part of it. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV infection rate is the highest in the world. The decision to cut funding has meant less testing and treatment. 


Since Trump’s election, trade relations between the US and Africa have significantly declined over the last few years. Many trade agreements between Africa and the US have been said to be under threat of being cancelled or not renewed.

R:Ed Halo


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