Despite the controversy and political fallout surrounding the deaths of four special operations soldiers in Niger recently, it is clear that the Trump administration still has enough room to refocus on Africa among its foreign policy goals. Policies, personnel and priorities on Africa remain a work in progress. There is still a possibility to orientate its policies in a way that ensures a win-win outcome — especially in the potential for enhanced trade and investment with the continent. Washington ignores Africa at its own expense, whether in regard to the risks, or, just as importantly, the many opportunities it presents. It’s not just the risk of other US casualties in terror hot spots or the prospect of illegal immigration, the spread of infectious diseases such as Ebola or the threat of a humanitarian crisis. The neglect of Africa’s substantial "upside risk" – its economic growth, dynamism, and diversity — carries a high opportunity cost. The extractive industries still occupy t...

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