SA and US Economic Relations


President Jacob Zuma ’s administration could significantly increase economic growth if it carefully spelt out the objectives of its economic relations with the US, says Witney Schneidman*, who advised Barack Obama’s presidential campaign on African affairs.

He was at the University of Pretoria yesterday, where he delivered a lecture in memory of the late US senator Edward Kennedy, who had a particular concern for SA.

Schneidman said SA was important to the Obama administration, but was trailing Angola when it came “to a game plan”.

“From the moment (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Angola to the time she flew out of Lusaka during her recent African Safari, they (Angolans) tabled their strategic document, which outlined goals and objectives about the two countries’ future relations.”

Schneidman, who was also deputy assistant secretary of state for Africa in the Bill Clinton administration, told Business Day yesterday the Obama administration wanted relations with SA that would advance the continent and the world on issues of climate change, alternative energy, agriculture development and capacity building for the continent’s institutions of democracy.

On Zimbabwe, he said the US would play a bigger role in a bid to help both SA and the Southern African Development Community resolve the political impasse.


* Witney Schneidman is a member of Idasa’s board in the USA


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