Ghanian President Nana Akufo-Addo is in Washington this week as the United States re-examines its strategy and engagement in West Africa and the Sahel, which have seen eight coups since 2020. Ghana stands out as a bastion of democracy in this region, where nearly 150 million people are today under the rule of armed forces.
Ghana represents a “bastion of democracy” in a region beset by political instability. With Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo visiting Washington, D.C., this week, the United States can deepen cooperation in a way that “really supports the U.S. message of bringing peace through democracy,” says USIP’s Donna Charles.
Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania is further indication that “the U.S. is finally waking up” to opportunities in Africa, says USIP’s Thomas Sheehy. “Africans want choices, they don’t want to be dependent just on Chinese investment … they want the U.S. engaged.”
The Global Fragility Act (GFA) is an ambitious law that makes preventing conflicts and promoting stability in countries prone to conflict a U.S. foreign policy priority. Following years of efforts that overemphasized military operations in response to extremist violence and insurgencies, the GFA requires a long-term investment to address the underlying drivers of conflict. The Biden administration has released a new strategy to implement the GFA with 10-year commitments of assistance to a group of fragile states. The GFA and the new strategy rely, in part, on recommendations made by the USIP-convened Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States.