The United States and Africa in the Obama Era: New wine in old bottles, old bottles for a new beverage - Or a new label on an old brew?

"This policy brief takes as its basic position that, historically, American policy – or, more properly, policies – towards Africa have been an extension of how the US characterises its national interest – in the same fashion as policies towards European or Asian nations. This includes a mix – varying over time and in response to specific circumstances - of trade, economic development and strategic security interests, as well as humanitarian/civil and human rights perspectives. Further, American involvement with the continent has traditionally been secondary to US relations with Europe, or they have served as proxies for American – Soviet (or perhaps, now, American – Chinese) rivalry. Further, the author takes the view that in the wake of 9/11 and subsequent challenges to social and political order on the continent, security issues are again paramount for the US in its relationship with this continent."