Saturday, April 8, 2023

Podcast on US-China Competition in Africa

 The New York Times posted on 6 April 2023 a 30 minute podcast titled "America Has a Problem in Africa: China" with Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times correspondent in Africa.  

The podcast, which referred to the recent trip to Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia by Vice President Kamala Harris, summarized her visit as sending the message that "China is not your friend, we are."  Of course, the vice president never said those words and the podcast subsequently offered that her goal was to demonstrate that "America is a better partner than China."  Abdi Latif Dahir did make the important point in response to a question whether the US is a viable alternative to China that it will require consistent US engagement with African countries over successive administrations.

Comment:  While making some valid points, the podcast falls in the increasingly common trap of exaggerating China's influence in Africa while understating that of the United States.  See my comments below on 29 March.