The Trump Administration’s budget proposal for next year includes drastic cuts to a myriad of social services and programs, to environmental protection, education, public housing, and the arts and science.
But there is something else buried under all of those line items: a call to completely eliminate the African Development Foundation, a government agency that gives grants worth thousands of dollars, in the form of seed capital and technical support, to community enterprises and small businesses on the African continent.
functions as a kind of alternative to the aid money that the United States regularly provides to several governments in Africa; it was designed to encourage self-sufficiency and entrepreneurship, and it focusses on ventures by farmers, women, and young people, particularly those in post-conflict communities.
(The agency’s Twitter account has been valiantly tweeting out the results of its work in recent days.)
But its proposed termination reflects a deeper apathy, and even belligerence, about Africa from President Trump’s Administration, whose members have publicly wondered what the United States is doing on the continent, and why it is interested in parts of it at all.
So far, the Trump Administration’s prevailing mood toward much of the world, including Africa, has been one of xenophobia and carelessness.