In Africa, the roles of China and the United States have been completely reversed

Twenty years ago, the United States played a leading role in Africa, and China could only play a smaller role. The United States accounts for 15.5% of trade with the African continent, almost four times the 4% said by China.

The grand occasion is no longer. In the past 20 years, driven by the expansion of overseas markets and large-scale infrastructure construction, the roles of the two countries have been completely reversed. According to the statistics of the Atlantic Council, in 2020, the share of the United States in African Trade decreased to 5.6%, while China’s share increased to 25.6%. From a bilateral perspective, China has become the largest lender in Africa, investing billions of dollars in highway, railway, power and port construction.

In order to recover some lost land, Washington announced the resumption of the “prosperous Africa” plan. This is an initiative launched by former US President trump in 2018 to expand investment and trade with countries on the African continent and counter China’s growing influence.

About 20 years ago, China first put forward the “going out” strategy to encourage domestic enterprises to invest abroad and find markets. The plan took off rapidly in Africa. In 2009, China overtook the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner. China proposed infrastructure projects one belt, one road initiative.

Landry signer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s African Growth Initiative, said that the result is that China’s influence now far exceeds trade.

He said that over the past 10 years, China’s outward direct investment has increased by an average of 40% per year and has become the largest bilateral infrastructure financier in Africa“ China is also the largest investor in infrastructure and is now the first destination for students from English speaking African countries, surpassing the United States and the United Kingdom. ”

At the U.S. – Africa Business Summit held last Tuesday, senior U.S. government officials said the Biden administration would revive “prosperous Africa”. U.S. Commerce Secretary ramondo said it was part of President Biden’s “rebuilding a better world” agenda.

But analysts say one belt, one road to “rebuilding a better world”, is that the scale of investment in Africa can not be compared with the “one belt”. China’s one belt, one road to Africa, is not challenged by the United States, even if it is “rebuilding the world,” Michael Chege, a professor of political economics at Nairobi University, because Western projects take a long time to start. China’s approach in Africa is more ambitious and long-term.