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How would you characterize the US's current policy toward the African continent? 

On the one hand, the Prosper Africa initiative, announced just last year, is meant to encourage trade between the US and African countries. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently in Africa promoting US-Africa partnerships.

On the other hand, the US is considering pulling troops out of Africa, and the recently announced travel ban extension restricts visa access for four African countries—including Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy.

I made a call to Howard French, a journalist, author, and professor at Columbia University with a long history of reporting on Africa, to talk through all of this on this episode of the CGD Podcast. We discuss US perceptions of Africa, the business opportunities the US is leaving on the table, and how policy changes could benefit both the US and African countries. 

W. Gyude Moore is a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. He previously served as Liberia’s Minister of Public Works.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.