As Africa braces for the possibility of Donald Trump’s return to the White House, concerns mount over the potential implications for the continent. Trump’s decisive victories in the Republican primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire have significantly bolstered his bid for the 2024 presidential election. With Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, seemingly the only remaining obstacle in his path, Trump is leveraging his primary momentum, with pollsters suggesting a strong chance of reclaiming the presidency.
For Africa, this resurgence of Trump is worrying, given his past derogatory remarks about some African nations (S***H*** Countries). The former U.S. president’s approach to international relations and foreign policy has historically diverged significantly from current norms. In the geopolitical landscape, his potential return casts a shadow of uncertainty, especially considering the stark policy contrasts with the Biden administration.
The 2023 World Economic Forum highlighted these global shifts, emphasizing the new challenges and opportunities in a multipolar world. Countries like India and Saudi Arabia are adapting to these changes, while traditional powers like China and Russia are reassessing their roles on the global stage.
The Biden administration has aimed to redefine America’s role for the 2020s, focusing on global engagement and cautious military involvement, which included revitalizing alliances in Asia and forming a coalition to support Ukraine. However, Trump’s potential return could herald a return to more isolationist and transactional policies, affecting global trade, alliances, and the rules-based international order.
A second Trump presidency is expected to differ from his first term due to the current complex global situation and his likely intolerance for official obstruction. This could result in across-the-board tariffs and more stringent trade measures, particularly against China. While this might benefit leaders aligned with Trump’s ideology, such as Netanyahu in Israel and Orban in Hungary, other nations perceived as “freeloaders” in terms of trade or defense spending might face increased scrutiny and pressure.
Trump’s potential return to the presidency poses significant challenges and uncertainties for Africa and the global community. His past comments and policy positions suggest a shift that could impact international relations, trade agreements, and global stability. Africa, along with the rest of the world, is preparing for the consequences of such a shift in U.S. leadership.