Africa: U.S. Campaigns' Africa Advisers Go Head to Head

29 September 2008

Foreign policy advisers for the campaigns of the principal protagonists in the U.S. presidential election, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama, have spelled out their respective policy proposals for Africa.

J. Peter Pham, director of the Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Witney W. Schneidman, who served as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs in the Clinton administration, debated one another at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Pham spoke for the McCain and Schneidman for the Obama campaigns.

In his presentation, Schneidman said Obama would pursue three "fundamental objectives" in Africa:

* Accelerate the continent's integration into the global economy;

* Enhance the peace and security of African states; and

* Strengthen relations with African governments and bodies committed to deepening democracy, accountability and reducing poverty.

Pham said McCain and the Republicans believed that Americans and Africans could "promote a true renaissance of liberty, security, and prosperity" in all of Africa's nations. He added: "We acknowledge, however, that the problems confronting Africa can only be overcome in partnership with Africans." He also said McCain believed strongly in ending subsidies to American farmers which prejudiced African farmers.

Today, AllAfrica publishes as guest columns extensive excerpts from the presentations of both camps.

McCain's Vision for Freedom, Peace and Prosperity

Obama's Three Objectives for Continent

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