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The continent of Africa

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secret prisons

It's believed US Prisoners that had been held in Europe were illegally moved to North Africa. Swiss senator Dick Marty who had investigated the claims of a CIA secret prison in Europe said in December 2005, "To my knowledge, those detainees were moved about a month ago, maybe a little more," and continued. "They were moved to North Africa."(1 ). An Inquiry into this matter found that along with North Africa secret detention centers there were also centers in the Middle East, and Asia(2 ).

It's believed since September 11 2001 the CIA conducted 1,000 undeclared flights over European territory(3). Some of these were terror suspects, because of secrecy the number may never be known.

Despite closing Guantanamo Bay President Obama is leaving the renditions program intact (4 ).

Obama has announced he plans to keep the "state secrets" privilege this allows things like the renditions program (5 ).

American national interest?

America gets 15% of its oil from West Africa, the U.S. National Intelligence Council believes this amount could grow to 25 percent by 2015. Al-Qaida has shown an interest in this area too, its believed that Nigeria and Mauritania have terror cells also The Algeria-based Salafist group for Call and Combat is believed to be tied to al-Qaida (6 ).

General Michael Hayden spoke at a Washington think tank Atlantic Council, he warned that al-Qaeda was growing in strength many regions generally in the north and east of Africa particularly in Somalia and Yemen (7 ).

The US set up Africa Command (Africom) that set up bases and Signed access agreements with Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Gabon, and Namibia. Africa is becoming strategically important to America because of oil production and China's increasing regional influence (8 ).

Africom mission statement says "United States Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy. " . On the face of it its not ominous, but when you consider the past well... (9 ).

Obama choice for United Nations Ambassador has been described as a militarily aggressive person and it's also been said "Susan Rice's brand of 'humanitarian intervention' is a farce, a pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing human suffering." She is "more bellicose" than George Bush when it comes to threatening Sudan over plight of people in Darfur, "while simultaneously backing a savage U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian calamity in Somalia." (10 ).

There is concern over Obama's choices, and how they will impact Africa. The director of Centre for Civil Society in Durban, South Africa, Patrick Bond, said "One of Barack Obama's leading advisors has done more damage to Africa, its economies and its people than anyone I can think of in world history, including even Cecil John Rhodes." He is referring to Paul Volcker. When Mr Volcker was chair of the Federal Reserve from (1979-1987) African debt skyrocketed. Mr Volcker was choosen to be a member on a new economic panel. His choice for his head of Council of Economic Advisers Laurence Summers reportedly said "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that----I've always thought that under populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted, their air quality is vastly inefficiently low… African's aesthetic concerns with air pollution are not likely to be as substantive as they are for wealthy northerners.", when he was with the World Bank (11 ).

The only place the Bush (Jr) administration may beat or at least tie the Obama administration would his Africa polices, given its short comings the Bush administration spend $18 billion into fighting aids Bush also backed polices to cancel 34 billion in African debt (12 ).

Bush's ( President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) PEPFAR initiatives won him acclaim in the mass media news stories said "countless Africans ... will always be grateful to [President] Bush for his war on AIDS." They also noted a forty fold increase of Africans receiving AIDS medicine from grassoots organizations and "higher-profile charities and big state clinics," (13 ).

Dr. Paul Zeitz, Global AIDS Alliance executive director said "While we welcome Ambassador Goosby to his new post, and look forward to working with him on a broad range of issues that affect the health and well-being of the world's vulnerable populations, there are a number of as-yet unanswered questions about the true commitment of the Obama Administration to global AIDS and health, including PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief]," and continued "Indeed, recent alarming comments by Ambassador Goosby are causing advocates to question the direction and commitment to global AIDS and health that will be included in the President's new Global Health Initiative, which we expect to be announced in October,". Dr Zeitz said about a recent trip to Africa "On my recent trips to African countries that receive AIDS funding from the U.S. government, I've seen first hand that the new direction of the Obama Administration -- most importantly, the scaling back of funding for HIV prevention and treatment -- is having a devastating effect on the morale of people living with HIV/AIDS in those countries," (14 ).

General concerns

A group of health experts warned against the excessive use of DDT for preventing malaria in Africa and Asia. Both areas have a malaria problem, and the experts felt DDT should only be used as a last resort. The concern is over health effects on the food chain. The US banned the use of DDT in 1972( 15 ).

Unless Africa sees more political stability problems like hunger and famine will continue. Chief economist with John Deere and former USDA economist J.B. Penn said "Investment is not going to flow into unstable areas. It is not going to flow into poorly governed areas no matter what the natural resource space is -- it's just not going to happen," (16 ).

Algeria

Chad

Ghana

Liberia

Nigeria

Angola

Niger

South Africa

Sudan

Ethiopia

Somalia