African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 403

Full Length Research Paper

U.S. development diplomacy in Africa: From Bill Clinton to George W. Bush

Adewale Banjo
University of Zululand, KZN, South Africa. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 March 2010
  •  Published: 30 April 2010


By means of descriptive approach and content-analysis of documentary sources collected from two U.S embassies in Africa (Lagos and Pretoria), the article examines the U.S development diplomacy in Africa during the Clinton years and the early directions of George W. Bush’s policy toward Africa. The article is broadly divided into three sections. The first part deals with introduction, motivation and methodology. This section also attempts a concise historical overview of U.S policy toward Africa, from Truman to J. F Kennedy and to George Bush. The second section outlines the several development imperatives apparent in the US official thinking about Africa at the beginning of the Clinton administration. The section specifically focuses on basic provisions of the Clinton’s AGOA policy and to what extent Africans/Africanists were agog with AGOA. Within this context, the article also enumerates the reservations of Africans/Africanists about AGOA. The third section describes the early indications [or lack of it] of the direction of George W. Bush Africa policy before 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. The study  concludes by identifying key development issues that have been side-stepped by  the paradigm of 9/11 and  how  the war on terror have scuttled the gathering momentum on the anticipated transition from Clinton to Bush pro-development diplomacy in Africa.  


Key words: United States, Africa, diplomacy, foreign policy, development, post cold war, AGOA, 9/11, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush.