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Foreign aid represents a relatively recent element in the interaction between sovereign states.
Most scholars agree that modern foreign aid came into existence only after the Second World
War when the United States started to support countries around the world, especially in Europe.
Additionally, foreign aid seemingly represents an exception to the prevailing rules of statecraft in
which states generally act on the basis of their respective national interests.
Aid, as the term in itself already implies, is usually understood by laymen as having its
main goal to help the developing world through inducing economic, social, and political
development in the recipient states. Equally, the very words aid or assistance seem to imply a
disinterested and altruistic motivation on the part of the donor states. Yet, a closer look at the
patterns of aid distribution by donor states, or into the technical literature on the subject quickly
reveals that altruism does not seem to constitute the only motivation for aid-giving. (Ian little,
Juliet Clifford and Osvaldo Feinstein, 1965), have addressed the confusion surrounding this
technology already by stating that ―buying something from a man may help him, but one does
not speak of ‗aiding‘ him if it is something that one wants.‖ Hence, the question is posed: What
are the intentions and rationales of donor states if the motivation for aid-giving is not purely
humanitarian and altruistic? It is in this subject where the main interest of the present work lies.
In recent times, during the presidential administration of Bill Clinton, the American foreign
aid program underwent the most fundamental changes in its entire history regarding the amounts
of aid allocated to developing countries. Most strikingly, the amounts of Official Development
Assistance (ODA) distributed by the United States, if measured in inflation-adjusted 2010
dollars, reached both an all-time minimum as well as a historic peak within less than a decade
(1997 with $9 billion and 2005 with $31 billion, respectively). Thus, the subject of interest of the
present work is to explain these changes regarding the amounts and the ways of U.S. foreign aid
allocation, i.e. to define what the reasons and the motivations were that led the United States to
undertake these changes in its foreign aid policies during the time in question here.
To understand the in-depth position of the topic and its motives, we have to understand the
direct relationship between the activities of the bill Clinton administration and the exact parts of
Africa this aids where targeted to affect more so its necessity at that time. Sub-Saharan Africa is,
geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara Desert.
Politically, it consists of all African countries that are fully or partially located south of the
Sahara (excluding Sudan, even though Sudan sits in the Eastern portion of the Sahara desert).
Poverty, debt, endemic disease and poor governance are critical issues affecting the future of
Africa. Economic, strategic, political, and societal interests, intertwined within any one African
country, are easily influenced by events across porous borders. Economic growth for the region
has been sluggish—barely able to keep pace with an average population growth of 2.6%. As a
consequence, 34 of the continent‘s countries now rank among the world‘s least developed
nations, compared to only 27 in 1996. Further sapping Africa‘s potential for development is a
large and growing HIV/AIDS population—some 25 million people or 70% of the 36 million
infected worldwide. The linkage of poverty and terrorism only add urgency to the rising
problem. Ideas of how best to develop Africa change frequently as the years pass. Parts of
Africa are potentially rich and prosperous; others are poor and likely to remain so for many
years. Some areas are inviting and accessible; others are forbidding and inaccessible. Although
some conventional wisdom tends to dismiss Africa‘s importance for the U.S., each one of
Africa‘s five regions is significant enough in terms of population, potential economic
development, impact on global issues and even current trade ties, to warrant sustained policy
attention. Circumstances on the continent are likely to compel a greater commitment of
resources than U.S. policymakers currently contemplate. When the U.S. is greatly involved in
Africa, they are more powerful and important; when the U.S. is less involved, their status
diminishes. (Lieutenant Colonel Jacqueline E. Cumbo, 2003).
Bill Clinton (born 1946), the 42nd U.S. president, served in office from 1993 to 2001. Prior to
that, the Arkansas native and Democrat was governor of his home state. During Clinton‘s time in
the White House, America enjoyed an era of peace and prosperity, marked by low
unemployment, declining crime rates and a budget surplus. During his time as president, Clinton
accomplished quiet a number of things in the white house some of which are: Clinton appointed
a number of women and minorities to top government posts, including Janet Reno, the first
female U.S. attorney general, and Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. secretary of state.
– Clinton supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he signed into law
in 1994.
– His presidency saw the passage of welfare reform in Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Act which ended Aid to Families with Dependent Children and reduced the
number of welfare programs which received support from both political parties.
– He also signed the reversal of the Glass-Steagall Act which was designed to prevent
financial institutions from getting too big to fail.
– He also signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act which legalized over-thecounter derivatives
Clinton was inaugurated in January 1993 at age 46, making him the third-youngest president in
history up to that time. During his first term, Clinton enacted a variety of pieces of domestic
legislation, including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Violence against Women Act,
along with key bills pertaining to crime and gun violence, education, the environment and
welfare reform. He put forth measures to reduce the federal budget deficit and also signed the
North American Free Trade Agreement, which eliminated trade barriers between the United
States, Canada and Mexico. He attempted to enact universal health insurance for all Americans,
and appointed first lady Hillary Clinton to head the committee charged with creating the plan.
However, the committee‘s plan was opposed by conservatives and the health care industry,
among others, and Congress ultimately failed to act on it.
During Clinton‘s second term, the U.S. economy was healthy, unemployment was low and the
nation experienced a major technology boom and the rise of the Internet. In 1998, the United
States achieved its first federal budget surplus in three decades (the final two years of Clinton‘s
presidency also resulted in budget surpluses). In 2000, the president signed legislation
establishing permanent normal trade relations with China. Additionally, the Clinton
administration helped broker a peace accord in Northern Ireland in 1998. That same year,
America launched air attacks against Iraq‘s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.
In 1999, the United States led a NATO effort to end ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. In the midst of
these events, Clinton‘s second term was marred by scandal. On December 19, 1998, the U.S.
House of Representatives impeached him for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection
with a sexual relationship he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (1973) between late
1995 and early 1997.
―A New Game: The Clinton Administration on Africa by Frank Smyth, June 3rd, 1998,
World Policy Journal‖. The Clinton has forced America attention on Sub-Sahara Africa like no
other administration before it. Bill Clinton administration was from January 20, 1993 – January
20, 2001 as the 42nd
president of the United States. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third
youngest President, belonging to the Democratic Party. Bill Clinton‘s 1998 tour initiated the
modern era of formal visits to Sub-Sahara Africa; there were subsequent visits after this to
The African Growth and Opportunity Act [AGOA] is also a legislation that has been
approved by the U.S Congress in May 2000. The purpose of this legislation is to assist the
economies of Sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States
and the region; it was signed by President Bill Clinton.
In 1998, the administration appointed an Assistant U.S Trade Representative [USTR] for
Africa and senior advisor for African Programs at the Export-Import Bank. In addition, the
Administration hosted the first annual U.S Sub-Saharan African Trade and Economic
Cooperation Forum to discuss expanding trade and economic relations between the U.S and SubSaharan Africa. Symbolically, President Clinton‘s trips to Africa in 1996 and 1998 also
transformed U.S relations with the Sub-Saharan African nations. The visits highlighted Africa‘s
opportunities as well as U.S support for economic transformations underway in the region.
―The Pursuit of peace and Democratic Spotlight: Sub-Saharan Africa, posted by Andrea‖. It
seems not a day ceases to pass without a report of a new country or region that poses a threat to
U.S security and ―American way of life‘. The news of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the
growing economic strength of markets and businesses in China, and the influence of drug cartels
on Mexico-U.S border detail the global pressures on American power daily. Strangely, however,
the growing African nations are not nearly as ubiquitous within the news. When America and
Sub-Saharan interactions are profiled, the stories often detail how the U.S is aiding the ―ailing‖
notion, protecting the tenants of democracy, and promoting universal peace. When President Bill
Clinton came into office in 1994, his Sub-Saharan African policy focused on the economic
integration of the region into the global economy, alongside the mitigation of threats to national
security. Two of Clinton‘s largest foreign policy missions in the region existed in Somalia and
The problem statement of the project is drawn from the eminent need of Sub-Saharan Africa in
areas of growth crucial to development ranging from. The project aims to answer the need to
why did the Clinton administration attempt to aid Sub-Saharan Africa? As said earlier it was
only eminent the sub-Saharan Africa faced tons of downturns to economic growth then, some of
which were: underdevelopment, lack of funds and effects of war.
The objective of the study is to assess the U.S aids to Sub-Saharan Africa during the Bill Clinton
administration. However, the following are the specific objectives of the study, which are to:
1. Analyze the motivations behind U.S aids to Sub-Saharan Africa.
2. Examine the challenges and opportunities of the U.S aids to Sub-Saharan Africa.
In relation to the objectives of the study, based on the research problem, the following questions
were answered in this study:
1. What are the motivations behind U.S. aids to Sub-Saharan Africa during the Bill Clinton
2. What are the challenges and opportunities of the U.S. aids to Sub-Saharan Africa?
The result of this study will be of great importance to international relations and diplomacy
students and foreign scholars, as they require this work for further learning. Similarly, political
researchers and students of higher citadels of learning would also benefit from this research work
as the conceptual clarification and theoretical framework of this work would enhance their
knowledge and understanding of the subject matter, thus serving as a basis inspired through
simple action to carry out further studies.
The study was undertaken to ascertain the U.S. aids to Sub-Saharan Africa during the Bill
Clinton Administration, the study would therefore be limited to the Bill Clinton administration.
Data for this study would be gathered from material through the use of secondary data.
Meanwhile, a major limitation to this study is inadequate time because the time frame for this
research is not enough as attention has to be given to other courses required by this programme.
Another limitation is not getting enough materials for the research of this work.
This research work contains five chapters in which chapter one contains the introduction to the
study and chapter two will be the literature review containing the conceptual clarification and
theoretical framework. Chapter three will contain research methodology that will be used during
the course of the study. Chapter four will focus on data analysis of the research carried out and
Chapter five will contain the summary and conclusion alongside recommendation to the study.
(i) Aid:
Aid refers to an act or result of helping and providing assistance.
(ii) Foreign aid:
Foreign aid refers to money, food, or other resources given or lent by one country to another. It
can also be defined as the international transfer capital, goods, or services from a country or
international organization for the benefit of the recipient country or its population. Aid can be
economic, military, or emergency humanitarian (e.g., aid given following natural disasters).
(iii) Sub-Saharan Africa:
Sub-Saharan Africa is geographically referred to as the area of the continent of Africa that lies
South of the Sahara Desert. Politically, it consists of all African countries that are fully or
partially located south of the Sahara.
(iv) Administration:
Administration refers to the group of individuals who are in charge of creating and enforcing
rules and regulations, or those in leadership positions who complete important tasks.
(v) Donor:
Donor refers to a person or group of that gives something (such as money, food, or clothes) in
order to help a person or organization.
(vi) Fiscal:
Fiscal usually refers to government finance, relating to the money of a government, business, or
organization earns, spends, and owes.
(vii) Rationale:
Rationale refers to a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or belief.
(viii) Rhetoric:
Rhetoric refers to the undue use of exaggeration or display. It is also a language that is intended
to influence people and that may not be honest or reasonable.


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