Africa Isn’t Buying Washington’s Message on China


In Africa, Beijing has demonstrated that it has a lot to offer. Washington, by contrast, appears to offer only criticism

The U.S. narrative against China-Africa activities misrepresents China’s strategy, underestimates its influence, and downplays what a majority of Africa’s population really thinks about China partnerships and great-power competition. The current facts on the ground already give China impressive influence and access to political, economic, and communication sectors across Africa.

Ironically, if China were to respond to America’s demand for more transparency and more carefully crafted development projects and loans, the U.S. narrative would have even less a leg to stand on than it does now. Africa needs to grow its communications networks from ground to space, expand its infrastructure, and expand the technical expertise of its students. These are all needs that the United States is unable to meet on its own (5G networks), increasingly loath to provide, or limited by a development/loan bureaucracy for which few African countries have the patience. Of note, America’s historical competitive advantage in education was also lost to China, as China now hosts more Africans in its universities than the United States does.

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