From Retreat to Re-engagement: The New American Foreign Policy for Sub-Saharan Africa

  • C Dokubo


After decades of Cold War, when Africa was simply viewed as a convenient pawn on the global chessboard, and a further period of neglect and retreat, Africa has once again emerged as a vital arena of US interests. After 9/11 and the continuing war in Iraq, it is clear that the US will be more dependent on foreign oil, and needs to ensure the stability as well as increase its suppliers from such sources that may not be entirely friendly. This strongly implies the linking of energy to national security, and the projection of US military might on a global scale to protect its national energy security interest. The reasons for re-engagement are linked to the war against terrorism and the incursions by Chinese oil companies into sub-Saharan African oil producing states and growing Chinese oil imports for its growing military might, and what this portends for US oil interests in Africa and its national security in a global context. It should be noted that the re-engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa, is based on US perception of threats to its vital interests in the region. Furthermore, the process of reengaging Africa is directed at controlling both the territorial space and the resources within it. As such, it masks a new continuity in the subordination of the region to the world's only superpower and its allies. Re-engagement has far-reaching implications for the region's development, as the paper shall make clear.

Lagos Historical Review Vol. 7 2007: pp. 105-124

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eISSN: 1596-5031