(BIPP) The Scramble for Africa: Part II

TreyLonte Gaither, BIPP Intern

Since European colonization in the 1800s, Africa has been solely viewed, by the West, as a place of profit, with little regard for those living there. After the crippling effects of European colonialism on what was seen as an “uncivilized” group of people, Africa has been trying to place itself in a global position of power. Despite this hard work, the continent is about to relive the same reality that destroyed them before as China has set its eyes on Africa. Recently, China has sent and loaned billions of dollars to finance projects in Africa. By investing in an organized train system and industrial tools used to uncover the riches of African natural resources, China is readying itself to overthrow America as the global world.


As Chinese and American relations have become tainted with rumors of a trade war, America has become privy to China’s long term plan to make itself number one. While America is still determining their relationship with China, China’s economy continues to expand. Unfortunately, China has reached a maximum GDP, and it is anticipated that they will suffer a future economic recession. To combat these daunting predictions, China has chosen to take interest in Africa. With the potential of free or reduced labor cost at one end of the spectrum and long-term increase in productivity at the other, it is clear why China wishes to maximize their relationship with Africa.


As China continues to strengthen its hold on Africa, Americans are attempting to understand the impact such a relationship will have on them. Over the last five years, China and the United States have exported billions of dollars in goods to Africa. But, in 2009, China surpassed the United States in exported goods to Africa. Additionally, China has established its first and only military base within Africa’s borders in Djibouti in order to further China’s ambitions of gaining control of Africa. Taking advantage of the continent’s low GDP and a plethora of natural resources, China has been able to implement their projects onto African soil while claiming that it is for the betterment of the continent. Many projects have helped improve Africa’s standing, in turn making it more appealing in the global trade network. With Africa’s strong ties to South American trade routes, China has been able to not only build relationships with Africa, but also with the countries it trades with. These tactics have been able to sustain China’s high GDP while giving itself leverage in the trade routes that are connected throughout Africa.


All in all, the relationship between China and Africa seems to be a sequel to the relationship that was established by the Europeans in the early 1900s. Using Africa for its low skilled workers and for its natural resources has been a tactic employed by many powerful nations, and China seems to be following in the same footsteps. However, it is important to note that while China sees this relationship as one that will push them to new heights, they must consider the possibility that Africa will not be able to give back the tremendous amounts of money that were invested. The question now becomes, what will China do next?

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