These Presidential Country Files relate to U.S. relations with existing and emerging countries in Africa, and address regional concerns as well as issues specific to individual countries. Materials in the first five folders are filed under "Africa," and the remainder of the collection is arranged by name of country. Memoranda, briefing papers, and comparable materials created by the National Security Adviser, National Security Council staff, and State Department officials, and telegrams exchanged between the State Department and U.S. embassies are contained in these files.
The prevalent topics in this collection are the move to independence and establishment of new government in many countries, especially Angola, and the effort to bring about majority rule in Southern Africa. Just about every country had an interest or involvement in the events taking place in Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia. Materials relating to these countries are filed throughout the collection. Materials in the folders for Zaire and Zambia are particularly relevant for research on these two main topics. In addition to the relationship between the U.S. and individual countries, the materials also show U.S. interaction with the former colonial powers and the role of the Organization of African Unity.
Other significant issues are the Ethiopian/Eritrean conflict, the dispute between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara), and the Soviet presence in Somalia.
In general, the individual country folders also contain materials relating to military and economic development aid to Africa, appointment of ambassadors to and from various countries, and meetings between U.S. and African officials.