From the Archives: Jimmy Carter on Africa
AAI features a quarterly “From the Archives” blog, highlighting historical milestones in AAI and African history. This blog post features verbatim historical documents from AAI’s files and articles from Africa Report, a monthly publication of in-depth analysis and reports chronicling the continent’s dramatic political and economic developments. Published from 1956 through 1995, Africa Report became the most significant Africa-focused publication in the U.S.
Africa Report, May-June 1976. Volume 21, Number 3
The Africa Report began extensive coverage on the implications for Africa during the 1976 US Presidential election. In the May-June 1976 issue, the magazine interviewed presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.
AFRICA REPORT: How should aid priorities be determined, as between friends and non-friends, between Africa and the rest of the developing world; between “democratic” and “non-democratic” regimes; between countries with interesting natural resources and those with none; between countries that have potential for economic development and those who need long term humanitarian assistance?
CARTER: As a nation, we must protect our own self-interest and give some priority to those nations who share the democratic principles and ideals which our nation tried to embody. However, we live in a world in which no nation can be completely written off as unfriendly: A nation’s friends are sometimes determined by her interest in a particular situation, and such should be the case with Africa. While it is very difficult to export American concepts of democracy to another continent, we should always show preference for those democratic regimes that are based on majority rule and on the protection of minority rights. But we must not ignore political realities that may not conform to our ideals.