The United States outlined a new Africa strategy that will benefit the economies and security of the U.S. and Africa.

The new approach will strengthen “independence, self-reliance and growth” and allow African nations to “remain independent in fact and not just in theory,” U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said in a December 13 speech in Washington.

In his role as national security adviser, Bolton advises and assists President Trump on national security and foreign policy issues.

The president’s Africa Strategy focuses on three core objectives:

  • Advancing trade and commercial ties with key African states to increase American and African prosperity.
  • Protecting the United States from cross-border health and security threats.
  • Supporting key African states’ progress toward stability, citizen-responsive governance, and self-reliance.

“We are not among those powers that pursue dollars for dependency,” Bolton said.

Economic ties

Bolton contrasted America’s approach, which he says will benefit both America and its African partners, to other countries’ tactics.

“China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands. Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption,” Bolton said. The “predatory practices … stunt economic growth in Africa.”

Bolton said Russia was seeking to increase its influence in the region “through corrupt economic dealings” and “with little regard for the rule of law or accountable and transparent governance.”

He also said the United States is re-evaluating its international aid strategy to make sure it is effective and efficient.

Taking ownership of security

To ensure that African nations can protect against “terrorism and militant violence,” Bolton said the United States will help key African governments in building institutions to provide “effective and sustainable security.”

He emphasized that Africa will take the lead. “Our goal is for the nations of the region to take ownership over peace and security in their own neighborhood,” Bolton said. There is “enormous potential for African joint security cooperation.”

“Under our new Africa strategy, we will expand economic ties on the basis of mutual respect. We will help African nations take control of their own economic destinies and their own security needs. And we will ensure that all U.S. foreign assistance in the region gets results,” Bolton said.