chapter  28
The African Growth and Opportunity Act
ByChanging Foreign Policy Priorities Toward Africa in a Conservative Political Culture
Pages 17

In the era of Republican approaches to government, United States policy toward Africa has experienced a significant shift from an emphasis upon public sector-sponsored development assistance to private sector-driven trade and investment. One of the more interesting aspects of this shift is that it represents an example of “political convergence” between Republicans and a sector of the Democratic Party, but also involving many black Democrats as well. Nevertheless, the shift prompted a political conflict initiated by the difference of opinion between those who favored it, for whatever reasons, and many Africaoriented groups and politicians who favored the maintenance of economic development strategies. We will examine the nature of this conflict, emphasizing the arguments of the opponents in an effort to understand why a “bipartisan” piece of legislation that ostensibly promised much to the continent of Africa, might instead be considered to be detrimental.