Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

China shunts U.S. into second place in Scramble for Africa

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A presidential visit followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s African tour cannot conceal a stark reality: China has overtaken the United States as Africa’s top trading partner.

That is one of the main problems facing Clinton on a seven-nation jaunt meant variously to spread Washington’s good governance message and shore up relationships with its key oil suppliers on the continent.         

 

U.S. officials are keen to trumpet a 28 percent jump in 2008 in trade with sub-Saharan Africa to $104 billion, even if the increase is attributable mainly to the high price of oil, which accounts for more than 80 percent of U.S. imports from Africa.

However, there is another statistic that says more about the direction of development on the poorest continent: this decade’s tenfold increase in trade with China to $107 billion last year, narrowly eclipsing the United States.

from The Great Debate:

Africa and the global economic crisis

- Jorge Maia is head of Research and Information for Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, established in 1940 to promote economic growth and industrial development. The opinions expressed are his own -

Serious shockwaves are hitting Africa's shores as the global economic crisis unfolds.

The promised land?

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Several hundred Africans have drowned off the coast of Libya in an attempt to escape to a better life in Europe.

The head of the United Nations refugee agency says the tragedy marks a grim start to what he calls the “smuggling season”, when the weather gets better and the perilous sea voyages pick up again after the winter.

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