Lately, trade talks between African countries, the west, and China has dominated headlines. The British Prime minister and her German counter path visited last week, amid an effort to deepen trade ties with Africa. Also, the US said it hopes to expand its markets in Africa and increase bilateral trade.
Meanwhile, China hosted the 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing this week, pledging $60bn in aid and financing. Clearly, a question worth asking is, why the renewed interest in Africa?
The East/West interest in Africa is driven by several factors. Firstly, recent trade tension between the US and its allies as well as China is a factor. Also, Britain’s decision to exit the EU is another, as the UK eyes becoming the biggest investor in Africa using its Aid budget after Brexit. Yet, the biggest factor remains that Africa is clearly the last frontier, as the mammoth of challenges ravaging the continent presents opportunities for businesses and thus, a market for both the West (led by the US, UK, Germany & France) and East (majorly China).
Overall, we think the development is positive for Africa, as growth in key economies in the region such as S/Africa and Nigeria continue to falter.