The New Scramble for Africa

One of the areas in our world that is currently seeing a growing interest is Africa. The scramble for Africa actually refers back to the early 20th century when the European powers were trying to colonize the continent. Currently, Africa is the poorest part of the world. It is also very rich in resources, therefore attracting more attention from certain countries.

This episode dives into the new scramble for Africa. The countries that are showing the most interest (both commercially and militarily) and are having the most impact on the continent of Africa are China and Russia. The People’s Republic of China is actually Africa’s largest trading partner to date. China has already implemented several key initiatives in Africa, like extensive infrastructure projects and a major technology company that is monitoring the people and collecting data. Russia has taken a bit of a different approach in Africa. They’ve come in with a heavy hand and are exploiting key resources like diamonds, gold, and timber to fund their weapons purchases. 

Both China and Russia are building relationships with Africans and spreading their influence in powerful (and not so positive) ways in the countries there. The United States, France, and Great Britain are having a waning influence in Africa, and we all risk losing the ability to leverage relationships that we should have there. Many Africans still want to have meaningful lives (from an economic and security standpoint), so it’s vital that we stay involved and pay attention to this continent. 

Episode Timestamps/Key Takeaways:
  • What the continent of Africa was like in the early 20th century compared to its position today {0:46}
  • Other countries that are more interested in and impacting Africa now {2:30}
  • Some of the key initiatives China has implemented in Africa {4:01}
  • A major technology company that China put in place in African countries to monitor and collect data {8:55}
  • The military efforts China has been doing in Africa {11:20}
  • Chinese control over certain industrial processes and resources in Africa {12:44}
  • Russia’s approach to their work and influence in Africa {14:35}

“The United States has had a really hard time paying attention to Africa with so many things going on around the world. By 2050, it’s estimated that Africa’s population will increase to 2.5 billion people, which will be about one quarter of the world’s total population. This will no doubt have a significant impact on the world’s resources, and it’s going to make a real difference.”

Connect with Cedric: