U.S.-African Policy


1. Central Intelligence Agency Report, Office of National Estimates Memorandum

The CIA reported that a decline of prospects for Communist-oriented radicalism in Africa had apparently led Moscow to some shifts in emphasis in its approach to black Africa. The African elite tended to view Soviet ideology as irrelevant and was still culturally attuned to the West.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, DDI Files, Job 79–R00967A, Box 1, Folder 1. Secret.


2. Memorandum of Conversation

During his meeting with Secretary Rogers, Kenyan Ambassador Nabwera said bilateral relations between the United States and Kenya were excellent, but the United States should formulate an independent policy toward Africa and not follow the lead of other Western powers such as the United Kingdom and France. He also expressed concern about the impression among Africans that the United States was not giving much attention to Africa.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 1 AFR–US. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Terence A. Todman (AF/E) and approved in S. The meeting took place in the Secretaryʼs office.


3. Memorandum From Roger Morris of the National Security Council Staff to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Morris provided a status report on several African policy issues involving Nigeria, Southern Africa, the Congo, succession problems, and foreign aid.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 741, Country Files, Africa, Nigeria, Vol. I. Secret. Sent for information.Kissinger wrote in the margin next to section 4, Succession Problems, “Canʼt we pull this into NSC.”


4. Memorandum From Roger Morris of the National Security Council Staff to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Morris provided an update on the issues discussed in his April 23 memorandum (Document 3).

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 741, Country Files, Africa, Nigeria, Vol. I. Secret. Kissinger wrote in the margin next to section 2, Contingency Planning for Nigeria, “Right But practically how do we do it?”


5. Central Intelligence Agency Special Report

In this report on Communist Chinaʼs presence in Africa, the CIA stated that until China abandoned its Maoist approach it would not make major gains in Africa.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 742, Country Files, Africa, General, Thru Feb 70. Secret; No foreign dissem.


6. Memorandum for the Record

[2 pages not declassified.]

Source: National Security Council Files, 303 Committee Meetings, Minutes, 1969, Richard M. Nixon.


7. U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1970ʼs: A New Strategy for Peace: A Report to the Congress by Richard Nixon, President of the United States

In this published report the President summarized his administrationʼs goals and policies regarding Africa. A major concern was “that the Continent be free of great power rivalry or conflict in any form.”

Source: Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. No classification marking.


8. Briefing Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Kissinger reviewed the main themes of Secretary Rogersʼ discussions during his trip to Africa.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 281, Agency Files, Department of State, 12/01/69–02/21/70, Vol. V. Confidential. Attached but not published at Tab A are Talking Points for Nixonʼs meeting with Rogers.


9. Memorandum of Conversation

In a conversation with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs David Newsom, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of the Republic of Ivory Coast, expressed his belief that what was most to be feared in Africa was the spread of communism. He was particularly concerned about the Soviet presence in Nigeria. Newsom noted that the United States was aware of communist activities in Africa but considered it important to view the problem in each country in terms of the local situation and needs.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 17 IVCOT. Confidential. Drafted by W.F. Miller (ECON) on March 13 and cleared by Ambassador J.F. Root. The meeting took place in the Presidentʼs Office.


10. Memorandum From President Nixon to the Presidentʼs Assistants (Haldeman), (Ehrlichman) and (Kissinger)

President Nixon enumerated specific foreign policy issues of interest to him. Those dealing with Africa were relegated to the lowest priority. The portion of the memorandum concerning domestic issues is not published.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Subject Files, HAK/President Memorandums 1969–1970. No classification marking; Eyes Only.


11. Letter From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon

Secretary of State Rogers submitted to Nixon a 25-page statement on U.S. African policy under cover of this March 26 letter. No classification marking.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 281, Agency Files, Department of State, Vol. VI.


12. Letter From President Nixon to Secretary of State Rogers

Nixon responded favorably to Rogersʼs statement on U.S. African policy, which was a more detailed and in-depth discussion on the subject than was given in Nixonʼs February 18 Report to Congress (Document 7).

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 281, Agency Files, Department of State, Vol. VI. No classification marking. Under Nixonʼs signature is written in an unidentified hand, “Do the notes on the next two pages suggest this was signed by machine after HAKʼs approval? The carbon copy indicates /s/RN.” The next two pages, which are not published, include handwritten notes stating that “HAK Approves for President.”


13. Telegram 3414 From the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Embassy in Ireland

The Embassy reported on President Nixonʼs meeting with President Tito on October 1, during which the two men discussed “Black Africa” at some length. Tito commented that it was difficult to assess Sino-Soviet competition in black Africa but he was impressed by Chinese efforts. He agreed with Nixon that Chinaʼs policy was more clever and sophisticated than that of the Soviets. He advised that change in black Africa not be regarded as a move towards socialism or communism.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, S/S Conference Files, 1966–1972, Entry 3051B, Box 518, President Nixonʼs Trip to Europe, 9/27–10/5/70, Schedule, Memcons, Public Statements, Vol. I of V. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Also sent to U.S. Office in Limerick.


14. U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1970ʼs: Building for Peace: A Report to the Congress by Richard Nixon, President of the United States

President Nixonʼs second foreign policy report to Congress acknowledged Rogersʼ lengthy policy statement of March 26, 1970, (attachment to Document 11) and then elaborated on his specific goals for Africa: peace, economic development, and justice.

Source: Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. No classification marking.


15. Memorandum Prepared by the Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency

This analysis of what the Chinese Communists “were up to in Black Africa” concerned Chinese efforts to create friction between the United States and the USSR while convincing various African governments that ties to China would be more beneficial to their interests than ties to Taiwan.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency, DDI Files, Job 79–R00967A, Box 3, folder 2. Secret.


16. Memorandum of Conversation

In his meeting with President Nixon, President Senghor of Senegal expressed deep concern about the growing Communist Chinese influence in Africa. Nixon assured Senghor that he fully understood his concern and that U.S. efforts to establish a healthier relationship with Communist China were not based on any underestimation of the danger that Maoist philosophy posed to free nations.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 743, Country Files, Africa, Senegal, Vol. I. No classification marking. Drafted on June 23. The meeting took place in the Oval Office.


17. National Intelligence Estimate 70–71

This NIE, “Troubles in East Africa,” examined growing domestic problems, communist activities, and other issues in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia, and discussed the outlook for those counties and the implications for external powers.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, NIC Files, Job 79R–01012A, Box 421, Folder 1. Secret; Controlled Dissem.


18. U.S. Foreign Policy for the 1970ʼs, The Emerging Structure of Peace: A Report to the Congress by Richard Nixon, President of the United States

President Nixon discussed U.S. interests in Africa, the need for mutual respect and restraint, economic cooperation in the form of loans, private investment, and trade, and the Southern African dilemma.

Source: Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. No classification marking.


19. Memorandum of Conversation

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs David Newsom told the British during talks on Soviet influence and activities in Africa that there had been a significant lack of Soviet success. The Sovietsʼ best position was in Somalia, but they had failed to advance in Nigeria and Ghana while losing ground in Uganda. Newsom saw a possible new cold war in Africa between the Soviets and the Chinese.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL AFR–USSR. Confidential. Drafted by Hal W. Pattison (AF/PPS) on March 10.


20. Memorandum of Conversation

During U.S.-British talks on Chinese activities and influence in Africa, there was general agreement that Chinese activities merited attention but there was no real cause for concern since the Chinese were expected to achieve only limited success, similar to the Soviets.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL AFR-Chicom. Confidential. Drafted by Pattison.


21. Memorandum of Conversation

During U.S.-French bilateral exchanges on Africa, Secretary-General Hervi Alphand said that the Soviets and the Chinese had not been successful in Africa, communist influence was not dominant, and African countries viewed the communists as sources of aid, not ideology. Newsom indicated that he was not especially concerned with the Soviets, although they might be overreaching in Somalia. However, he was concerned about Chinese economic activities, their military establishments, particularly in Tanzania, and their identification with southern African liberation movements.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, ORG 7 AF. Confidential. Drafted by A. Steigman (POL) on May 4.


22. Memorandum of Conversation

During U.S.-French bilateral exchanges on Non-Francophone Africa, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Newsom, France’s Africa Director, Philippe Rebeyrol, and other U.S. and French officials discussed Ghana, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and the Horn of Africa.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, ORG 7 AF. Confidential. Drafted by A. Steigman (POL) on May 5.