The Clinton administration’s new African policy thrust, combined with the changing contours of Canadian African policy, has brought the two governments’ approaches closer together than ever before. In most fundamental respects, their stated aims are closely congruent: They seek in general to promote stability and progress in Africa, conceived in broadly neo-liberal terms. Beyond these general objectives, however, Washington and Ottawa exhibit differences of emphasis and approach that are interesting given the especially close relationship that has long existed between the two countries. In important ways, Canada’s “kinder, gentler” approach to Africa serves to soften the face of U.S. policy priorities without fundamentally altering them, and in this respect serves as a valuable contributor to the fulfillment of U.S. hegemonic priorities on the continent and around the globe. Canada nonetheless has its own history, habits, and linkages in Africa that, although under strain, still allow it to periodically play a surprisingly prominent role on issues of concern to Africans at this historical moment of continental transformation.