Africa: US Launches Effort to Counter China's Economic Influence in Africa

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, left, greets King Mswati III of eSwatini, while Mozambican and Namibian Presidents Filipe Nyusi and Hage Geingob, third and fourth from left, look on at the 12th edition of the US-Africa Business Summit in Mozambique.

The US is launching a big push to counter China's large economic influence in Africa at the US-Africa Business Summit in Maputo this week.

Eleven African heads of state or government and more than 1,000 business leaders have been attending the summit, hosted by the Mozambican government and the Corporate Council on Africa, a US organisation advocating more American engagement with the continent.

The South African government, however, does not seem to be represented even at ministerial level. This seems odd when President Cyril Ramaphosa is trying hard to attract $100-billion of investment in five years.

Two major new initiatives to boost US trade and investment on the continent are being launched.

One is the $60-billion US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) which will more than double the amount of money available for US investment in low- and middle-income countries than was previously available through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA). Many of the countries supported by this new agency will be in Africa.

The other is Prosper Africa, an inter-agency initiative which aims...

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