Africa Notes: U.S. Priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa - May 1996
May 1, 1996
When the African independence movement was gaining momentum in the early 1960s, officials in the Kennedy administration referred to the continent as the "New Frontier" Nearly 40 years later, with the independence movement having culminated in free and democratic elections in South Africa, the region is now characterized as the "final frontier." The question, however, is whether Africa will remain a frontier or become a neighborhood fully integrated into the mainstream of global life.
The answer to this question does not lie in the United States. Africa's fate is in the hands of Africans, primarily those in leadership positions in a broad range of institutions, especially governments, reserve banks, businesses, the media, nongovernmental organizations, and regional organizations. These individuals will determine to a significant degree whether governments will be democratic and stable, wars will end, human rights will be respected, and national economies will achieve sustained growth and development They will determine whether the African renaissance, in the words of Nelson Mandela, is wishful thinking or a vibrant reality