Brazil-Africa relations: Third world alternatives for development and security

Wayne A. Selcher, Elizabethtown College


The progress of Brazil’s relations with Africa has been remarkable, with broadening areas of cooperation and complementarity. From the African perspective, Brazil must produce contributions to Africa to satisfactorily strengthen the ties; from the Brazilian side the attention paid to Africa must carry a tangible economic payload. Brazil’s chief goals in Africa are economic, but political considerations abound. Among Brazil’s disadvantages in dealing with Africa are its inability to make the level of economic commitment Africa would like, its conservative government, its reluctance to get involved in African political or security issues, its competition with established powers, and its problems delivering financing for projects. Most African governments appear to regard Brazil as friendly to their interests, even though they would prefer more militance and action on matters concerning anticolonialism and national liberation movements in southern Africa.