How will Trump’s new Africa strategy affect Somalia and Somaliland?

Washington( Trump administration recently announced a sharp refocus of its Africa strategy. The first pillar of the administration’s new Africa strategy is advancing trade and commercial ties between the United States and Africa.

This comes after the congress passed a legislation earlier this year creating a $60 billion international development agency, widely viewed as a response to Chinese overseas development programmes.

Under the new “Prosper Africa” strategy, the US will encourage African leaders to choose high-quality, and transparent, foreign investment projects.

Reviving the U.S. effort to counter China in Africa, comes years late. China is already Africa’s top trading partner for more than a decade, and has invested billions of dollars in high-profile infrastructure projects.

The competition with China and Russia comes as Washington prepares to reduce its already shy military response to the spread of Islamist militant groups in Africa.

Instead, Washington wants regional players to take more responsibility for their own security, with a view to boosting Washington’s use of softer power.

After decades of the U.S. largely leaving Somalis to work out their own problems, the Trump administration with its focus on counterterror operations has grown the number of U.S. military personnel in the country.

The widespread insecurity means the U.S. still has not re-opened its embassy in Mogadishu, instead quietly using offices at the heavily defended international airport there.

More than a quarter-century after the fall of the central government , Somalia’s fragile central government is still trying to take control.

It wrestles with widespread corruption, difficult relations with regional states and high-profile attacks by the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab.

But Somaliland has, somehow, managed to avoid these threats, and held four multi-party one-man, one-vote elections with peaceful transfers of power.

Even though Somaliland ticks the boxes of statehood, it is not recognised as a state . With potential for the new U.S. administration to be sympathetic to Somaliland’s appeals for recognition, this could be an opportunity for the country to clear the obstacle that have kept it from joining the international community.

following the announcement of the Trump administration’s New Africa Strategy, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Somaliland Yasin Hagi Mohamoud Hiir welcomed the efforts by the United States to empower African governments to seek greater freedom to chart their own democratic path, achieve independence from foreign influence and catalyse sustained economic growth through an embrace of free markets.

He further stressed that the new strategy have opened the door to a strategic re-evaluation of the diplomatic ties and a stronger partnership, from which there would be mutual benefits.

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