United States of America has been involved in African affairs for a long time. In the 1960s young people from African countries were airlifted to this country to come and study in some of the best universities in the world. One beneficiary of this initiative by then President John Kennedy was the father of the Current President Barrack Obama. (Dougherty, S 2008 45) The United States role in Africa is important as it has helped shape the destiny of this continent. It has been involved in bringing peace in different regions of the continent.
For example, it was actively involved in the Congo conflict in the 1960 where it brokered a peace process between the warring sides. It was actively involved in anti apartheid in South Africa where it even participated in the imposition of sanction on the apartheid regime forcing it to releases Nelson Mandela and eventually allowing majority African rule in South Africa. (Copson, R 2001 23) On the democratic process, United States has been at the forefront in helping the African country adopt systems which are responsive to the needs of the majority. It has been very vocal in condemning authorities which are undemocratic in the continent.
It supported organizations which are geared towards promotion of democratic values while at the same shunned leaders who are out to oppress the masses; this has been done to force these leaders to embrace democracy in their rules. (Press, R and Press, B 1999 269) Humanitarian assistance has been accorded to every corner of the continent, this is includes response towards HIV and AIDS, starvation and other emergency response. United States has partnered with African countries on the war on terror through establishing strategic military bases in the continent.
With the election of Barack Obama, African countries expect a lot from him. Some of the expectations might not be realized due to the enormous task at home but for sure this continent will continue to be an important part of American agenda in his tenure.
Copson, R. Africa Backgrounder, Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service (2001) Dougherty, S. Hopes and Dreams; The Story of Barack Obama, Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers (2008) Press, R and Press, B. The New Africa: Dispatches from a Changing Continent, University of Florida Press (1999)