Round table conference on US ties with Africa
Africa at the pivot of its own development
Dschang, SIC/UDs – 15/12/16. The University of Dschang hosted a round table conference at the University Auditorium on the 16th of December 2016 at 10.00 am on the theme: “Donald Trump at the US Presidency: A tentative analysis of the new cultural, economic and political ties between the United States, Africa and Cameroon”. At the launching of the conference, a key note address was presented by Prof Bruno Bekolo Ebe, the former Rector of the University of Douala and Yaoundé II. The academic don in his address centred on the projections on policies after the elections of Donald Trump at the US Presidency and analysis on the level of influence for world governance through his speeches and discourse during his campaign. Other Sub themes presented were the Cultural exchange between the US and Africa by Prof Robert Fotsing, United States foreign Policies on Africa by Prof Joseph Keutcheu and the economic relations existing between the United States of America and Africa by Prof Desire Avom. This conference was moderated by Dr. Alexandre Djimeli the Head of Information and Conference Service unit of the University of Dschang.
Prof Robert Fotsing, Scientific Coordinator of the Dschang School of Arts and Sciences in his presentation highlighted that culture was mandated by UNESCO as the 4th pillar for sustainable development and is intertwined with ideological transfer as such Africa needed to redress the US cultural diplomacy and the influence of soft power. He projected that the era of Donald trump will rather impose the US ideology through various vectors such as dressing, media, programmes geared towards marketing the American culture of universality such as US speaker program, US performing artist, among others. Prof. Fotsing therefore called on Africans to resist universality and accept diversity.
Prof Joseph Keutcheu in his presentation outlined that the discourse of the president elect on Africa was not encouraging and stated that Africa was on a neglected axis in US for a possible emergence of foreign policies . Highlighting 3 key elements which included improved national base of the US, reduce sources of terrorism and reinforce cooperation ties. As such it is possible that the new administration will continue to ensure the hegemony of the United States through its numerous programmes and agencies. This posits the implementation of democracy in Africa through the use of lobbyist, think tanks, Congress men and an active role of public opinion.Thus the Donald Trump’s initial view on isolation of the US might not be easily attainable. It was made clear, through his speech that Africa is a potential market for the United States therefore Africans should develop strategies to leverage and level up with the US and equally have a win-win situation in their foreign policies.
As concerns Economic relations, Prof Avom Desire stated that the election of Donald Trump might not be dangerous and may be a blessing to the African continent. Prof Avom highlighted that the proposals by Donald trump as his possible economic reforms for the US might likely plunge the Unites States into debts. He cautioned Africa to orient its economic policies on interest rather than friendship .The conference continued with an exchange session with panelist under the moderation of Dr Djimeli T. Alexandre .This conference enlighten students as well as the public on the eventual projections on policies of the Donald Trump government and how Africa should be prepared to develop itself rather than wait for assistance abroad./PN