U.S., China, Russian Officials on Charm Offensives in Africa?

Top Chinese, Russian and American officials are scrambling to visit African nations and pledge their commitment to the world's fastest-growing continent, writes Anita Powell for VOA.

Chinese new Foreign Minister, Qin Gang made his first international tour as the foreign minister to Africa. The visit was significant, it was symbolic in a way - it emphasized China's foreign policy priorities. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen kicked started her visit in Senegal, then Zambia and South Africa.

Her visit comes as President Joe Biden's administration aims to secure stronger ties with Africa. Barely six months after the Russian foreign minister's first African tour, two more trips are in the offing. Sergei Lavrov has visited South Africa at the start of a planned second African tour since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. On his July 2022 trip, Lavrov visited Egypt, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda, and Ethiopia, also meeting the African Union leadership in Addis Ababa.

Unconfirmed reports said that Lavrov might visit Eritrea as the last stop of his African tour that started in South Africa and also took him to eSwatini.

To call it a new 'scramble for Africa', as some like to do, is clearly hyperbolic. Nonetheless, it can't be denied that the Big Powers are energetically wooing Africa as relations among themselves deteriorate, reports Peter Fabricius for the Institute for Security Studies.

However, African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki has said that "Africa refuses to be seen as an arena for influence struggles. We are open to cooperation and partnerships with everyone, as long as they respect our principles, our priorities, and our interests. The partnership we have with China is built on these principles." 


South Africa's Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana meets with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen.

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