Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
So far, media coverage of China’s involvement in Africa has mostly been about investment. Stories of Chinese engineers in hard hats standing by roads up mountains in Ethiopia. Stories of Chinese farmers moving to Zambia.
But, in a push to extent its economic reach, China is now making a very real effort to export its culture to the world’s poorest continent. Last year the Asian giant overtook the U.S. as Africa’s top trading partner, confirming to the West that it has a real battle on its hands to maintain its influence over African nations.
But, while China’s economic influence is now mighty and its cheap goods can be bought everywhere from Lagos to tiny tribal villages in remotest Ethiopia, Africans, especially young ones, still admire and try to copy U.S. culture.
Middle class teenagers in Nairobi dress like suburban kids from Atlanta, posters of Obama adorn minibus windows in Kinshasa, American hip-hop is everywhere.