Africa’s Role in China’s One Belt, One Road Global Trade Strategy

A China in Africa Podcast

China’s lofty ambition to revive its ancient silk road trading routes is now becoming a reality. When complete, One Belt, One Road (OBOR), or the Maritime Silk Road as it is more commonly known, will connect China via rail and shipping links with major markets in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.

Billions of dollars in new rail, shipping, and airport infrastructure are underway in dozens of countries including Egypt, Djibouti, and Kenya, among the small group of African countries that are expected to benefit most from OBOR.

While most countries welcome the Chinese investment and inclusion in Beijing’s trading network, there is mounting concern as to whether they actually will be able to pull off such a large, complex undertaking. Furthermore, in some ways, OBOR also is reminiscent of Britain’s old imperial trading network that was designed to extract natural resources from its colonial outposts and then sell back finished goods to these markets.

Shannon Tiezzi is the managing editor of the Asian affairs online news magazine The Diplomat and has been following OBOR’s development, particularly in Africa. She joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the global implications of OBOR and its impact in Africa.