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[AUDIO] China and the Rise of Africa’s New Autocrats

Anzetse Were is a Nairobi-based international development economist and newspaper columnist who is increasingly worried about a resurgence of autocratic rule in Africa. Buoyed by the United States’ apparent receding interest in promoting democratic and civil society values around the world, Africa’s authoritarian leaders are now seemingly taking comfort in their countries’ deepening ties with China. Beijing, for its part, makes a ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China’s new “old friend” in Zimbabwe

Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was long described by Chinese leaders as their ‘old friend’ in Africa. Mugabe’s relationship with the Chinese dated back half a century when China supported anti-colonial guerrillas with weapons and training. Longstanding relationships like this are very important to Chinese officials, far more so than in other governments, but as the dramatic political upheaval in Zimbabwe demonstrates, ... Read More »

[PODCAST] China’s ‘Belt & Road’ Trading Strategy Presents New Challenge to U.S. Influence in Africa

The implementation of China’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) trade agenda in Africa is now fully underway. The launch of the Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, the opening of the new navy base in Djibouti and dozens of other major infrastructure development projects along Africa’s eastern shore are all part of this new ambitious strategy. OBOR’s roll-out in Africa comes at an important time ... Read More »

[PODCAST] Can the U.S. Under Donald Trump Compete with the Chinese in Africa?

With United States foreign policy in turmoil amid countless White House scandals and a demoralized State Department, Africa’s role in the current U.S. foreign policy agenda remains a mystery. Not once since he took office has President Donald Trump even mentioned Africa, much less provided a detailed overview of America’s security, aid and investment strategies on the continent. With the president’s attention focused ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Why U.S. & Chinese Foreign Policy Are More Alike Than You Might Think

When Xi Jinping visited Donald Trump this week at the U.S. president’s Florida estate for their first face-to-face meeting, many of the photos of the two leaders together conveyed a sense of awkwardness. After all, Trump represents a new generation of volatile, populist western leaders that Xi may still be learning how to engage. For his part, Trump is also learning that it’s a lot easier ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China spends billions in Egypt to woo the ‘Arab Street’

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s recent state visit to Beijing is the latest evidence that China is manuevering to play a bigger role in the Middle East and Persian Gulf. The two countries reportedly signed deals worth upwards of $65 billion during the summit. Beijing’s plans for the region, though, extend far beyond just doing business and the Saudi kingdom. Any country that vies ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Get Ready Africa, the Big “Trump-Shift”​ to China is Coming

Over a month into his presidency, Donald Trump has yet to utter a single word about his foreign policy vision for Africa. Given that the combative president has picked fights with Mexico, Australia and, of course the Chinese, while making antagonizing other long-term allies like the Swedes with false information, a lot of African leaders may actually be relieved that their countries and continent are ... Read More »

[AUDIO] Is China a partner or predator in Africa (or both)?

Depending on who you speak with, China’s engagement in Africa is often described in extreme terms as either the best thing to happen to the continent in the post-colonial era or just the latest foreign predator coming to pillage Africa of its resources. With China’s presence in Africa now stretching across nearly all 54 countries where an estimated one million Chinese immigrants now live and hundreds of billions ... Read More »

[AUDIO] How Donald Trump could give China a real boost in Africa

The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said nothing about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative-style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in Africa. China, by comparison, is moving in the opposite ... Read More »

[AUDIO] China poised to benefit from Trump’s Africa policy (or lack thereof)

Although leaders in Asia, Europe and the Americas are struggling to figure out what are the implications of Donald J. Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency. At least in those regions, the president-elect made passing references during the campaign to Japan’s future security status, or whether Washington should continue to support NATO and, of course, his desire to build that ... Read More »