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  • U.S. Social, Economic, and Political Lobbying in Sub-Saharan Africa

    18/05/2020

    The Current Situation with International Lobbying

    Lobbying means seeking to influence a politician or public official on a humanities-related issue. Regarding the relationship between the United States and Africa, the diplomatic capabilities must evolve in order for American interests and engagements to expand in the sub-Saharan region of the supercontinent.

     

    This is inclusive of security, development, and conflict management, all of which the United States has experience in. However, with countries like Brazil, India, and especially China, having a greater interest in lobbying within Africa, the challenge is greater. 23 African countries alone have spent up to $13 million dollars on communications with the American government.

     

    Cohesive Potential between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa

    Africa holds great potential as 7 out of 10 of the highest-grossing economies exists within the continent. In order for the United States to successfully compete with countries like China within the Africa continent, there must be money invested as well as a geographical diversification, while acknowledging that mid-sized companies hold the biggest demand in the region.

     

    Aside from location and size, lobbying is best done by selecting the best talent, partners, and incentives, when making negotiations. Not every country in Africa is the same, and while there are a suggested means to lobby and conduct business with politicians and public figures, the reality is that each individual situation is unique and must be viewed as unique, with a focus on being prepared, being adaptive, and being local, all actions which the United States government and global businesses have discussed before approaching negotiations in Africa.

     

    Economic and Political Business Endeavours

    Africa’s population is expected to double by the year 2050, and this would result in a population of 2.5 billion people, half of whom will be under the age of 24. Youth represents future innovation, granted these individuals have access to modern resources. In spite of the potential that youth can offer to the continent, there is still much corruption and terrorism, as well as challenges that China poses for the United States, due to its economic, political, and military power within the continent.

     

    For this reason, the United States must focus on equal trade by encouraging African governments to be fairer with their commercial initiatives, so that more businesses are able to flourish amongst laws and policies that fit into the international standards. This goal can be achieved by offering resources to African youth, to both mobilize and empower them, but trust is key in building this bond with both the government and the citizens.

     

    Peace and security can be achieved through partnerships with local governments within each African country, as negotiations on a local level, leave room for more successful discussions on a national and international level throughout the continent. Regardless of China’s involvement, the United States has committed to economic growth, good governance, rule of law, gender equality, and adequate healthcare, within the African continent.

     

    The Significance of Terrorism as a Distraction

    In order to understand lobbying, business, and political agendas between the United States and Africa, the 9/11 attacks, must be taken into consideration, as this event changed the scheme of the world’s security style. Much of the American policy in Africa has been rooted in security since the year 2001 when the original focus was based on bureaucratic policymaking. As of late, Christian lobby groups from the United States have gained a lot of power within the continent, and while America tends to focus on its own security interests, there have been recent agendas to assist in sociopolitical issues within the African continent.

     

    Although 9/11 marks one of the most crucial events in modern World History, it must be noted that Osama Bin Laden carried out an attack against Egypt’s President, Hosni Mubarak, back in 1995, followed by a series of attacks against American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. This caused the United States to focus more on security above business in Africa, especially because of the many ungoverned areas where radicalized groups have the potential to emerge and migrate globally.

     

    Terrorism should not be the cause of limited a focus on business and politics within the region but has created a distraction for decades, as the United States prioritizes counterterrorism activity above all social, economic, and political negotiations, along with lobbying discussions in Africa, and throughout the globe.

     

    Africa’s Blossoming Business Opportunities

    In spite of America’s great focus on counterterrorism activities, Africa still remains a gold mine for business opportunities across many sectors. 7 of the biggest areas of business are inclusive of crowd farming, waste management, automobile creation, urban logistics, healthcare services, Financial Technology, and the exportation of local products. These areas of business relate to innovation, entrepreneurship, and smart city initiatives, all of which keep pace with the electronic data and demands of the modern business world for cross-cultural trade and lobbying initiatives. Africa is able to become the center of this growing phenomenon if lobbying is done correctly with the United States, China, and other superpower investors.

     

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