U.S. Not Concerned About Chinese Competition in Africa ... But It Probably Should Be

A China in Africa Podcast

The difference between U.S. and Chinese foreign policies in Africa was on stark display in July when president Barack Obama made his landmark visits to Kenya and Ethiopia. The president brought along with him a vast agenda that transcended trade, democracy, human rights, gay rights, women’s issues, and on and on and on. Compare that to similar visits to both of these countries by either Chinese president Xi Jinping or Prime Minister Li Keqiang who focus their attention largely on trade and development.

In the run-up to the president’s trip, senior U.S. officials, including Obama himself, repeated their long-held position that the administration is not concerned in the least about China’s rapidly expanding presence on the continent.

Given that Chinese trade with Africa now dwarfs the United States by about three to one, a growing number of analysts say it might be time for the U.S. to take the Chinese in Africa more seriously.

This week, Eric and Cobus take a look back at the president’s trip and analyze the increasingly divergent paths the U.S. and China are taking to engage Africa.