WASHINGTON DC, The United States – Washington’s preoccupation with Russia and China is causing the country to miss the opportunity to invest in a region where the middle class is growing rapidly.
US President John Bolton’s National Security Adviser Donald Trump presented a new US strategy for Africa. Again, the strategy is focused on containing the political and financial influence of China and Russia.
The US claims that both China and Russia are engaging in “predatory practices” aimed at impeding economic growth and interfering with US military and security interests on the continent.
However, all this US desire to contain China and Russia as part of Washington’s new strategy may result in a more limited presence on the African continent, which means that the US could lose investment opportunities in a region that has the largest growth of the world’s middle class, Bloomberg said.
While the US insists on the same strategic priorities, China has spent the last few years investing in Africa. The Asian country invested in physical and financial terms, a posture also known as “soft power.”
The Chinese have increased scholarships for African students, sent their staff to UN peacekeeping missions in Mali and South Sudan, as well as sending specialists to help address key economic and social needs.
In addition, the African continent is a key part of the Silk Road Economic Belt, where Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to invest in various projects such as power stations in Ivory Coast, an airport in Rwanda and a railroad in Kenya.
For the professor of international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, the American adviser John Bolton did not mention any issue of importance to Africans, such as hunger, unemployment, growth, demographic issues and climate change.
China, on the other hand, is concentrating its actions precisely in those areas, according to Sherri Goodman, a member of the International Center for Academics in Woodrow Wilson, USA.
She cited as an example the presence of Chinese technicians in water supply projects in the drought-affected regions of much of Africa, a “lifesaver” for people living in those areas. China has a long-term vision and understands the needs of countries, Goodman says.