Jon Huntsman President 2012


The next wave of emerging markets will be in Africa, home to six out of the world’s top ten fastest growing economies.


Strengthening Ties to the African Continent

Africa is a continent of great challenge and tragedy, but also one of extraordinary potential and hope.  Our strategic relations with Africa’s great powers have been neglected and important political and commercial relationships have been ceded to other emerging powers, leaving Washington with decreased influence. Renewing and deepening ties to leading African powers is critical to ensuring that our security and energy interests are safeguarded, sensible development efforts generate more private sector growth, and American values are at the center of Africa’s renaissance.

Africa is home to more than a billion people, with nearly one-third of those in the middle class. The next wave of emerging markets will be in Africa, home to six out of the world’s top ten fastest-growing economies.  But American investors are losing out because we have allowed key partnerships to stagnate and failed to promote free trade and economic partnerships.
Africa is also increasingly a source of U.S. petroleum imports and critical to U.S. diversification efforts. We must secure stronger partnerships with leading exporters (Nigeria, Angola) and work to help new producers (Ghana, Uganda) effectively, efficiently and safely manage oil windfalls.

Africa also continues to represent serious security risks, both to itself and to the U.S. homeland. Al Qaeda continues to expand its influence in the Horn of Africa with Washington too slow to recognize this spread of infectious ideology from the Arabian Peninsula across the continent.  Now is the time to aggressively abate the spread of terrorist ideology in the Horn before it takes further root among vulnerable populations and across the continent’s vast ungoverned spaces.

Africa, more than anywhere else on earth, will remain a place where the people can benefit from American values of human life, dignity, and freedom. But our domestic budget mess and political disinterest from Washington threaten the gains we’ve made and the future opportunity for great accomplishments between the U.S. and Africa. 

Jon Huntsman Priorities:

Launch Economic Partnerships:  Create jobs and investment opportunities through refocused utilization of the tools at our disposal (EXIM, OPIC, USTR, MCC).  Such an approach should come with a strong political commitment, but should be budget-neutral and break from failed donor-assistance models of the past.  Strive to enable, not hinder, the tremendous and effective efforts of NGO’s that continue to make a difference on the continent.

Renew Political Partnerships: Extend U.S. influence and values on the continent by rebuilding alliances with key African players (Liberia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria) which have all been neglected by Washington despite representing the motors of economic growth and political stability on the continent.

Squeeze Value for Money:  End Washington’s pie-in-the-sky aid reforms and instead refocus our assistance dollars in ways that deliver real results and leverage private capital.


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