Despite Obama raising aid levels in Africa, most Africans are disappointed that the U.S. hasn’t made more investment in the continent, a Brookings Institution research fellow said in a report in Voice of America.
In advance of Obama’s upcoming trip to Africa next week, Julius Agbor with Brookings credits Obama with strengthening democratic institutions, peace and security including food initiatives, the report says.
But Africans remain disappointed with low levels of direct U.S. investment, the report said.
The feeling on the street and among heads of state is that more U.S. investment would have helped provide jobs for the continent’s millions of unemployed young graduates, the report said.
Obama’s upcoming visits to Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa reflect U.S. support for emerging democracies, food security, global health and fighting AIDS, the report say.
But the word on the street and among African leaders is a feeling of being let down, said
Jendayi Frazer, a former former Bush administration official for Africa now with the Council on Foreign Relations. Africans feel let down that Obama “hasn’t been more engaged, that he hasn’t had more dialogue with them, and that his administration has not had greater influence, particularly when they compare that to the significant engagement that they are finding coming out of China,” Frazer said in the Voice of America report.
Obama will discuss economic and democratic progress when he visits South Africa, which is of strategic importance to the U.S., Frazer said. “It has a big influence in the African Union and across the region, particularly in Southern Africa.”
Obama is not visiting Kenya, whose President Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president face trials in the International Criminal Court on charges linked to post-election violence in 2007, according to Voice of America.