Joe Biden’s election as President of the United States was celebrated by many African leaders. Many of them had felt ignored or insulted by former President Donald Trump’s relationship with the continent.
President Joe Biden is a member of the Democratic Party. He has previously served as Vice President for Barrack Obama. It is likely that many of President Biden’s policies will be shaped by his experience and his political party.
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. There is a tendency for the majority of African-Americans to vote for the Democrats.
The modern Democratic Party focuses more on social equality and equal opportunity. This includes welfare programs such as payments and food stamps that look to assist the less fortunate.
How will Joe Biden’s presidency impact Africa?
Africa has mostly played a minor role in United States foreign policy. However, there are still many historical connections between Africa and the US especially through the Democrats.
There have been a number of well-known US social programs that have taken place in Africa. These have been promoted by Democrats including the Peace Corps, the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the Young African Leadership Initiative.
Many feared that Trump’s re-election would mean the end for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act. The AGOA allowed duty-free (no tax) access to American markets on over 1800 African products. This trade agreement was responsible for the creation of tens of thousands of jobs in Africa. It has been seen as a great success.
Joe Biden’s election will likely mean that this trade agreement stays in place. It may also increase trade between Africa and the US. Given his previous role as Vice President under Obama, President Biden already has relationships with various African leaders from previous visits.
He also has a lot of experience with African issues. As such, we may see President Biden look to increase the funding provided to NGO’s in Africa. These had previously blocked by the Trump administration.
President Biden has also appointment Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nation. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield has a lot of African experience. He has held various ambassadorial positions in African countries.
For many, Biden’s election has been a positive for the continent. Many African leaders sent their congratulations and showed optimising for future relations between African and the US. It is important for African people to pay attention to the policies of the US and how they will impact their everyday lives.