0000295 - Africa-MC3 21/1/08 2:38 pm Page 15...

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PAGE 15 IRIN THEWORLDTODAY.ORG FEBRUARY 2008 k ENYA S ONGOING POLITICAL crisis, following presidential and parliamentary elections, is a reminder not to become complacent about African politics. It had been hoped that Kenya’s institutions were strong enough to deter signiFcant electoral fraud and that its political class was sufFciently visionary to avoid the conflict that has paralysed the country since the turn of the year. Kenya shows that assumptions must be tested and that Africa, as elsewhere, will throw up surprises. This is a good time to reflect on trends in Africa, especially as new foreign policy thinking is emerging in Washington to be offered to whoever moves into the White House. Britain’s ±oreign and Commonwealth OfFce is revisiting its strategic priorities too, reducing CHOOSING STRATEGIC AFRICAN PARTNERSHIPS Alex Vines HEAD OF THE AFRICA PROGRAMME AT CHATHAM HOUSE How Heavy are the Anchors? A televised post-election crisis in Kenya demands a government response, but where are the west’s partners in Africa and what are the strategic interests? And as several more states prepare to vote, which are the ones to watch?
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PAGE 16 THEWORLDTODAY.ORG FEBRUARY 2008 | INDEPENDENT THINKING ON INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS the policy goals from ten to four: counter- terrorism, conflict prevention, linking politics to economics – especially climate change – and supporting a strong international system. A new international relations and development ministerial sub-committee has also been formed, and met for the Frst time on January 15. These changes are likely to last until the next election, in a year or two’s time. ±or the United States and Britain, maintaining consistent democracy and human rights values when challenged by counter- terrorism and trade interests, is a major threat to real policy coherence. Messy elections, such as those in Kenya or in Nigeria last year, pose uncomfortable new realities which demand policy makers’ response. REGIONAL HUBS What are the implications for Africa? Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa have been the regional hubs for British- and US-Africa policy for some time. They are seen as anchor states in their regions and also chosen for their size and location. Ethiopia has become increasingly important too because of counter terrorism and its hosting of the African Union. Egypt has for many years been the key strategic partner in north Africa for similar reasons and because it provides a home for the Arab League. Of the US presidential elections contenders, only the Democratic Party frontrunners, Barrack Obama – whose father is Kenyan – and Hilary Clinton – who has an Africa link through the Clinton ±oundation – have shown an interest in the continent. There has been little sign of engagement from the Republican Party, apart from Darfur and preaching sexual abstinence as a response to HIV. President George Bush’s current policy
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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0000295 - Africa-MC3 21/1/08 2:38 pm Page 15...

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