NELSON INSTITUTE DIRECTOR’S COLUMN LOOKS AT PRESIDENTIAL TRIP TO AFRICA, BUSH ADMINISTRATION LEGACY ON THE CONTINENT

February 7, 2008

HARRISONBURG—In his weekly “Strategic Interests” column for the World Defense Review, Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University, looks at President Bush’s five-nation trip to Africa, which begins next week, and the administration’s policy towards the continent which, he argues, “reset U.S. relations with Africa on a solid strategic basis, charting the course for even greater engagement by whoever is inaugurated next January as the forty-fourth president of the United States.”

The President and Mrs. Bush will visit Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, and Liberia. The accomplishments of the administration reviewed in the article include the creation of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the extension and expansion of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) support for the “Africa Capital Markets Fund.”

Dr. Pham concludes that “it is quite appropriate that President Bush should begin his last twelve months in office with a journey across the African continent where a new framework for relations with the United States is being built, a structure whose very existence—however unlikely it would have seemed at the beginning—his presidency has done a great deal to bring about.”

To read the full text of the article, “Mr. Bush Goes to Africa,” click here.