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US STRATCOM Foreign Media Analysis Program VOICES FROM AFRICA PERCEPTIONS OF THE US IN AFRICAN MEDIA

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Mixed views of US on Darfur crisis and US presence in oil-rich regions. Region very concerned about internal and regional instability and energy security, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: US STRATCOM Foreign Media Analysis Program VOICES FROM AFRICA PERCEPTIONS OF THE US IN AFRICAN MEDIA


1
US STRATCOMForeign Media Analysis
ProgramVOICES FROM AFRICAPERCEPTIONS OF THE US
IN AFRICAN MEDIA
SOS International Ltd. 1900 Campus Commons Drive,
Suite 250 Reston, VA 20191-1535 Main (703)
391-9680 Fax (703) 391-9781 www.sosltd.com
2
Introduction
  • African Press
  • As Diverse as the Continent
  • Growing in Internet sector
  • Free and Restricted (Namibia versus Eritrea and
    Libya)
  • Broad focus with emphasis on key concerns
  • Media Analysis
  • Identifies and assesses messages, trends, and
    influential voices
  • Findings may not apply to entire population
  • Sources
  • African press available on-line
  • Major dailies from key countries

3
Overview
  • Concerns about Africa in the press of the five
    regions (Southern, Eastern, Central, Western,
    Northern)
  • Analysis of perceptions of the US
  • Reporting about AFRICOM (45 articles from
    monitored sources)
  • Most prevalent finding Africans seek African
    solutions for African problems.

4
Southern Africa
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

5
Southern Africa Concerns and Perceptions
  • There has been little mention of the US in the
    press.
  • Much of the reporting dealt with regional
    instability.
  • Zimbabwe Members of Southern African
    Development Community (SADC) concerned about
    instability. SA President Mbeki seeks quiet
    diplomatic solution.
  • We have no time for the EU, no time for the
    Americans or any other group outside of Africa
    except for African friends. (Mugabe
    Spokesperson, 29 Mar 07, AFP)
  • South Africa US-SA relations rapidly
    deteriorating in the era of President Mbeki.
    (Business Day, SA, 28 Feb 07)

6
Southern Africa Reporting on AFRICOM
  • Reporting about AFRICOM has been negative.
  • A few articles were neutral.
  • AFRICOMs advent follows a pattern of
    extraordinary military expansion under George
    Bush it makes Chinas business oriented policy
    look like a corner shop. (Mail Guardian, SA, 9
    Feb 07)
  • Creation of AFRICOM is a belated admission that
    the world changed in 1989 not in 2001 its the
    US thats playing catch-up to global and
    continental realities. (Business Day, SA, 9 Feb
    07)
  • The possible creation of AFRICOM contains a
    notable omission the word oil. (Business Day,
    SA, 14 Feb 07)

7
Southern Africa Reporting on AFRICOM
  • Botswana yet to work out position on AFRICOM
    since it was not consulted by US on command
    structure. (Mmegi/The Reporter, Botswana, 27 Feb
    07)
  • AFRICOM does not bode well for the continent,
    says editorial US military installations on
    African territory would mortgage away
    sovereignty Botswana should stay clear.
    (Mmegi/The Reporter, Botswana, 28 Feb 07)

8
Eastern Africa
  • Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

9
Eastern Africa Concerns and Perceptions
  • Much of the reporting dealt with regional
    instability.
  • Somalia Instability, GWOT, Islamists,
    Ethiopian role Somalia offered amnesty to
    insurgents except for international terrorists.
  • Regional Security - Concern about illegal
    firearms Concern about return of terrorism
    Uganda asks East African Community (EAC) to share
    security information to stem terrorist attacks.
  • Ugandan Defense Minister on recent Kenyan
    bombing
  • In Uganda and Tanzania, we feel that the attack
    was not on Kenya alone, but on the whole region.
    We have to keep sharing information or the bloody
    hand of terrorism could stretch to our countries
    again. (New Vision, Uganda, 14 Jun 07)
  • Sudan Darfur CrisisHybrid peacekeeping force
    is major news topic humanitarian concerns AU
    boycotted 25 June Paris conference because of
    lack of prior consultation.

10
Eastern Africa Reporting on AFRICOM
  • Reporting about AFRICOM has been 100 negative.
  • AFRICOM is exactly the opposite of what we need
    it will tilt countries toward military responses
    to issues that need patience and diplomatic
    approaches. How different Chinese and US
    approaches to assuring oil flow are! Bush has
    embarked on a righteous goal with altogether
    counterproductive methods. (Daily Nation, Kenya,
    8 Feb 07)
  • US is using Somalia and neighboring countries to
    conduct experimental tests on the effectiveness
    of its new military outfit, AFRICOM. (East
    African Standard, Kenya, 27 May 07)

11
Central Africa
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Republic of Congo
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Gabon
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe

12
Central Africa Concerns and Perceptions
  • 80 of the articles presented a positive view of
    the US.
  • Positive reporting on US efforts to assist in
    fight against HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases
  • Reporting reflected concerns about instability in
    the region and joint corrective measures
  • Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and
    Burundi decided to establish peace in the region
    through cooperative measures against rebels and
    terrorists regimes through encouragement of the
    US, the countries established the Intelligence
    Fusion Center (IFC) to promote joint
    collaboration (New Times, Rwanda, 14 Jun 07)
  • There was no reporting about AFRICOM.

13
Western Africa
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cote dIvoire
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone

14
Western Africa Concerns and Perceptions
  • Reporting concerning the US was mixed depending
    on
  • the subject.
  • Perceptions were generally positive in areas of
    education assistance, electoral reforms and
    trade.
  • Perceptions were mostly negative in areas of
    military activity/operations and global warming.
  • Mixed views of US on Darfur crisis and US
    presence in oil-rich regions.
  • Region very concerned about internal and regional
    instability and energy security, especially in
    oil-rich Gulf of Guinea (e.g. Niger Delta).
  • Nigerian diplomats and international relations
    scholars criticized US over the presence of its
    marines in Nigerian coastal waters, which they
    described as a threat to the nation's security
    the diplomats, at a round table discussion in
    Lagos, warned that a repeat of the Kuwaiti
    experience may be imminent in Nigeria. (The
    Guardian, Nigeria, 20 Jun 07)

15
Western Africa Reporting on AFRICOM
  • Reporting on AFRICOM mostly factual/neutral(60)
    with a negative undertone with few exceptions.
  • Editorialist wrote, It is gainsaying to mention
    that Africans will be seeing US marines and
    soldiers more often than not, and referred to
    President Bush as an emerging Hitler whose
    primary motive is to extend his influence.
    (Daily Trust, Nigeria, 11 Feb 07)
  • Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson said the
    role of AFRICOM will be conflict prevention,
    rather than intervention. (AllAfrica.com, 25 Jun
    07)

16
Northern Africa
  • Algeria
  • Chad
  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Niger
  • Tunisia
  • Western Sahara

17
Northern Africa Concerns and Perceptions
  • Reporting about the US was mostly negative.
  • Most of region very concerned about Darfur
    crisis.
  • Some countries concerned with perceived US
    interference in matters of internal governance.
  • Egypt accused US of arm twisting in response to
    US Congressional Committees attempt to withhold
    200 million USD in military aid based on Egypts
    poor human rights and political reform record.
    (Al Gomhurriya, Al Masry Al Youm, Egypt, 16 Jun
    07)
  • Egyptian Foreign Minister called the move by
    Congress unacceptable interference in Egyptian
    internal affairs. (Al Ahram, Egypt, 24 Jun 07)

18
Northern Africa Reporting on AFRICOM
  • Reporting on AFRICOM was negative (90).
  • Justice and Development Party warned against
    making Morocco a battle ground between US and
    its enemies in case government is considering
    hosting AFRICOM. (Al Tajdid, Morocco, 12 Jun 07)
  • Libyan officials rejected idea of any foreign
    power establishing military bases anywhere in
    Africa after meeting with US officials. (Al
    Ahram, Egypt, 14 Jun 07)

19
Northern Africa Reporting on AFRICOM
  • Most articles noted opposition from governments
    to
  • hosting AFRICOM.
  • After a visit by US Under Secretary of State
    Karen Hughes, Algerian Minister of Foreign
    Affairs Mohammed Bedjaoui denied that Algeria
    received a request from the US to establish
    military bases on its territory as a part of
    plans for an Africa Command in 2008 and said
    Algeria will not accept American bases on its
    territory. (El Watan, Algeria, 3 Mar 07)

20
PEW Global Attitudes Project
  • According to 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project
    findings U.S. image remains positive in Africa.
  • Africans admire American democracy and approach
    to business.
  • Study found No gap between how America and its
    people are viewed.
  • AIDS and other infectious diseases are the
    overwhelming priorities of Africans surveyed.
  • Africans feel their countries should take
    responsibility for handling the AIDS crisis.

21
African Union in the Press
  • Recent AU Summit envisioned the creation of a
    United States of Africa (25 June 3 July 2007)
  • Divisions exist over the pace of its creation.
  • Sengalese Foreign Affairs Minister Cheikh Tidiane
    Gadio said AU Summit in Accra, Ghana will be a
    battleground for gazelles (countries supporting a
    quick setting up of an African government) and
    elephants (countries supporting a more gradual
    move). (The Guardian, Nigeria, 20 Jun 07)
  • Darfur/Sudan
  • Some of the sentimental suits in the US
    administration may shed real tears for the
    Darfurians, but the hard-nosed warriors know that
    Sudan is a vital element in regional security.
    (Business Day, SA, 22 Jun 07)

22
Conclusion Perceptions of the US and AFRICOM
  • The underlying impression of the US reported in
    the African press is that it is an imperial
    power.
  • The US is viewed positively for its humanitarian
    efforts.
  • Most reporting about AFRICOM appeared in the two
    weeks following the February announcement of the
    new command.
  • Sentiment about AFRICOM has been mostly negative.
  • AFRICOM is viewed primarily as a military
    endeavor.
  • Africom does not proffer answers to the
    growing tide of conflicts that inflict the
    beleaguered continent rather it raises a lot of
    queries.
  • (Editorial in Daily Trust, Nigeria, 11 February
    2007)

23
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