What a Trump win could mean for Africa

US – As millions of Americans went to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new president, many more people around the globe were also waiting with baited breath for the outcome of the US presidential elections.

As Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party presidential nominee, and a former US Secretary of State, goes head-to-head with Donald Trump, the leader of the Republican Party, Zachary Donnenfeld, an American researcher from the Institute for Security Studies’ (ISS), African Futures and Innovation department, in Pretoria, outlined how the winner could possibly impact Africa.

“Whatever happens will affect nearly every country on the globe, and especially those in Africa,” said Donnenfeld, in a paper published by the ISS on Tuesday.

The George W Bush administration and its foreign policy will forever be tainted by the disastrous decision to invade Iraq, and the eventual fall-out that bolstered existing terrorist organisations (such as al-Qaeda) and helped fan the flames of new groups (like the Islamic State, or ISIS).

“But on other fronts, the Bush administration’s efforts to help Africa were quite successful. For example, President Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (known as PEPFAR) has been tremendously beneficial for human development,” he wrote.

Donnenfeld believes Trump could become the single most effective recruiting tool for terrorist organisations.

“For Africa, the most harmful policy of the [current Presicdent Barack] Obama administration was arguably the lack of follow-through in Libya after the ousting of its former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

“When the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) walked away from Libya, it created a power vacuum that left the region thoroughly destabilised,” Donnenfeld wrote.

“A key question now is to what extent Obama’s successor would deviate from the present trajectory of US foreign policy.