Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Africa Isn’t an Island: An Emerging Continent and the Geopolitics of the 21st Century
Africa Isn’t an Island: An Emerging Continent and the Geopolitics of the 21st Century

Africa Isn’t an Island: An Emerging Continent and the Geopolitics of the 21st Century

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Abstract

Long treated as marginal to United States strategic interests, political, economic, and security, developments on the African continent have forced a reconsideration of Africa’s geopolitical (and geoeconomics) significance in the twenty-first century. Moreover, the success of efforts to lower carbon emissions and other measures to combat the effects of climate change are highly dependent on access to Africa’s mineral reserves—another factor driving both global and regional powers increasingly to become engaged on the continent. Criticism of former President Donald Trump’s reported statements about African countries notwithstanding, the significant shift towards analytical realism under that administration—including not treating Africa in isolation from global trends—should be a lasting legacy.

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