The contours of Trump’s Africa policy are emerging, although key appointments, such as the assistant secretary of state for African affairs, have yet to be made.
On February 13, President Trump had telephone conversations with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa—his first with leaders from sub-Saharan Africa. The calls, which appear to have gone well, emphasized Trump’s two core foreign policy priorities: security and commerce.
According to Nigerian officials, Trump commended the Nigerian government’s progress against Boko Haram, invited Buhari to Washington, and expressed U.S. readiness “to cut a new deal” for arms in the battle against terrorism. The conversation with Zuma reaffirmed “already strong bilateral relations” and noted that there are 600 U.S. companies in South Africa.
At the same time, the Trump administration’s controversial “travel ban” against seven Muslim-majority countries is sending mixed signals about U.S. intentions. The ban includes Somalia—where…
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