How much can Raytheon, Mastercard, Nokia, Monsanto and the like be trusted to invest in long-term outcomes in the global South? When you see the actors behind U.S. ‘aid and development’ in Africa, is it any wonder that African leaders would look for any other partner to work with?
by Jim Carey
There has been a growing focus on the economic development underway in Africa. There is a reason behind this seemingly new interest of Western powers in events happening in Africa, and the reason is simple: China is a new power dominating business on the continent and has clearly caught the West’s attention.
China now has partner nations spanning the entire continent from Mauritania to South Africa, in a growing number of relationships that challenge the perceived hegemony of the triumvirate of Western capital, military, and NGO operations. This is making the U.S. nervous, as more African nations begin to see China as the better choice as an economic partner, due to Beijing’s fewer-strings-attached approach.
If one were looking for the best place to see the differences between these two approaches to investing in the global South, then look no further than the differences between how the U.S. and China help African countries develop infrastructure and distribute aid resources.