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#AmericaVotes: Africa and the Trump challenge


Why the threat of policy reversal is so real


By Oluwole Olusanya Sheriff


“They’re sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign kick-off speech on June 16, 2015 (while referring to Mexican illegal Immigrants).


According to updates on CNN, the presidential election between the Republican candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidate Donald J. Trump (the two leading contenders) has already started with over 5 million eligible American voters casting their votes for their preferred candidates in some states in ‘Early Voting’.

Interestingly, the main Election Day is slated for the 8th of November 2016 (less than a fortnight) but the electioneering process remains the most televised and one of the most interesting in the world (this is unarguably because the United States occupies an important position in the comity of nations) and spectators around the world are locked in the curiosity to see who will eventually emerge victorious.

Undoubtedly, one of the reasons why the result on November 8th is important is because of the United States’ pride of place in global affairs and one of the special contenders in this election is Donald John Trump- the Billionaire Businessman and Real Estate Typhoon cum politician who has included another dimension to the overall democratic process. In subsequent paragraphs, I would examine the likely effects of a Donald J. Trump’s presidency and policies in respect to the United States – Africa economic and political ties and relations ‘if’ he eventually occupies the White House in Washington DC come January 20, 2017. In the course of doing this, I would make reference to a number of his quotes and responses; this is because we can only speculate what he would do and what he would not do based on his principles and convictions in relation to some essential issues.

In consequence, I would discuss the following topics of immigration, employment, security, economic and socio-cultural relations which has been important issues of Mr. Trump’s campaign since he stated his intention to vie for the office in June 16, 2015 (two days after his 69th birthday).

  1. Immigration- This is one of the most controversial topics in Mr. Trump’s campaign. His famous quote about building a wall on the American-Mexican border which he intends to make sure Mexico pays for has generated a lot of controversy. Mr. Trump has also said that he plans to deport any and every illegal immigrant in the United States and hopes to achieve this by creating a “deportation force” to take on around 11 million people illegally residing in the U.S., stating “Day 1 of my presidency, [illegal immigrants] are getting out and getting out fast.” Interestingly also, the rival Democrats also opposes birth-right citizenship.

Africa has a huge number of illegal immigrants in the United States as well as in other developed countries. This is partly because of the economic and security situation in some African countries. Unarguably, Mr. Trump presidency would have a negative impact on immigrating to the United States because he would ensure that laws relating to immigration are strengthened, borders are more secured and non-American citizens are shown the way out.

  1. Employment Generation & Job Creation – I believe that the first point about immigration is closely related to the socio-economic problems confronting job creation and employment generation. Mr. Trump believes that the level of unemployment is particularly aggravated by the scourge of unchecked emigration; the few available jobs are fiercely contested amongst Americans and non-Americans. He has repeatedly stated that he supports “America First” domestic and foreign policy.

Deductively, it is possible from the calculation above that Mr. Trump’s presidency would orchestrate the promulgation of various laws that ensures that Americans’ are given preferential treatments in various socio-economic issues and this might have a silver lining after all. Most of these Africans might be forced to return to their fatherland thereby fast-tracking national development and growth.

III.            Security and Crime – According to reliable research, The Donald (as he is also called) is generally opposed to gun control. Gun violence and gun related murder are the two highest causes of crime in the United States.

I do not think that Mr. Trump has a detailed blueprint on how to deal with the issues of insecurity and the soaring rate of crime which are the biggest challenges in the U.S. and beyond. His presidency would no doubt be hostile to non-Americans. I can recall vividly that he promised to ban all Muslims from the United States on the wake of the November, 2015 attacks in Paris, France before he softened his stance on the controversial topic weeks later.

  1. Foreign Relations – Mr. Trump thinks that the United States of America needs to look inward towards nation building, and re-orient its resources toward domestic needs. It questions whether he, as president, would automatically extend security guarantees to NATO members, and suggests that he might leave NATO unless changes are made to the alliance. He has also called for Japan to pay for the costs of the U.S. troops stationed there and that it might need to develop nuclear weapons in order to protect itself from North Korea. He identifies as a “free trader”, but says that trade must be “reasonably fair”, and has described supporters of international trade deals that are good for other countries but not good for the United States as “blood suckers”.

The United States is a major world power and it is also a big contributor of resources and aids to developing countries, sub-Saharan African has over the years enjoyed a robust socio-economic diplomatic relation with the U.S and the Obama’s administration only deepened the relationship, this is partly because of his African heritage and ancestry. I hate to sound pessimistic but there might be a reverse if Mr. Trump is elected.

For the records, I like to state categorically that I do not have any negative disposition towards Mr. Donald Trump and I trust Americans to make the best decision come November 8th, 2016. I only chose to write about the likely effects of his presidency because Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s presidency might be an extension of the Obama’s administration with very few changes in internal as well as external policies and relations because it is evident that they share almost the same political ideology. Whichever way, I wish both of them the very best of luck.


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