News / Africa

US-China Competition Plays Out in Tanzania

US-China Competition Plays Out in Tanzaniai
X
June 30, 2013 6:41 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Tanzania as the last stop of his African tour, underscores a silent competition with China to tap the country’s growing economic potential. VOA East Africa correspondent Gabe Joselow has more from Dar es Salaam.

US-China Competition Plays Out in Tanzania

Gabe Joselow
U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Tanzania as the last stop of his African tour, underscores a silent competition with China to tap the country’s growing economic potential.

It’s always a hard day’s work at the Kivukoni fish market in Dar es Salaam.  This place was once the center of business and trade in the city by the sea.  But that has all changed.  Tanzania’s economy has a 7% growth rate and the country is quickly developing.  Competition to get into the market is heating up.

Chinese companies are already at the forefront, leading construction of buildings and infrastructure.

The most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.netThe most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
x
The most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
The most frequently used words and phrases in President Obama's speech in Cape Town on June 30, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
But the United States is also looking for a stronger foothold, a priority emphasized by U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the country.

Lead economist for the World Bank in Tanzania Jacques Moriset says the competition can be a good thing. “In my view, it’s a benefit, it’s a huge opportunity for Tanzania, I mean I strongly believe in the basic principle of economy: competition is good.  Of course competition has to go with transparency which is the main challenge now," he said.

The most frequently used words and phrases in Chinese President Xi Jinping's is from a speech he gave in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 25, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.netThe most frequently used words and phrases in Chinese President Xi Jinping's is from a speech he gave in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 25, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
x
The most frequently used words and phrases in Chinese President Xi Jinping's is from a speech he gave in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 25, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
The most frequently used words and phrases in Chinese President Xi Jinping's is from a speech he gave in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on March 25, 2013. Courtesy of wordle.net
China and the United States have a very different approach to aid and investment.  When Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Tanzania in March he emphasized his country would always offer assistance with no political strings attached.

American public investment however, is often tied to economic and political reforms.

Rehema Twalib, head of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) office in Tanzania, says what is really important is that any reform helps the population. "Good governance is a good ingredient for development, we’ve just seen it. If you have transparent policies, you make your citizens participate in programs they feel like they own them, it’s good. If you have predictable policies, it’s good for investors," he said.

China and the U.S. both have an eye on Tanzania’s natural resources, with U.S. companies in particular showing an interest in natural gas and oil exploration.

But growth in that sector rarely translates into jobs or any great improvement in the lives of citizens.

It is the hope of businesses here that new investment will bring with it a transfer of skills and knowledge.

Bhakti Shah is the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Tanzania. “When you look at the U.S. government, it is the engine of the private sector so all the intellectual knowledge that the U.S. government has we hope that Tanzania will benefit from, that is how to have a booming private sector," he said.

The United States has downplayed any competition with China for access to African markets, but it is falling behind in the numbers.

China says it is trading nearly $200 billion a year with Africa, which is about twice as much as the United States.

As African economies become among the fastest growing in the world, we will see if the U.S. can get itself a stronger foothold.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: joezhifu from: Singapore
July 01, 2013 2:55 AM
My estimate is that the future of growth between Africa and China will grow four times faster than Africa and USA. Just my feeling.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
June 30, 2013 8:05 PM
Yes, I believe, in a long term perspective, the most important and probably the most effective ways of investmment for supplyers to get benefits are to offer skills and knowledges to receivers to be able to stand on their own feet in future.


by: janet2312 from: Arizona
June 30, 2013 7:59 PM
"The hand of who gives is always on top," it is said. This is one reason, why Africa should shun aid and pursue business and investment partnerships.

Business ventures and partnerships clearly specify upfront that it is a business relationship, and partners agree to participate based on their satisfaction with the estimated returns to each party involved. Aid on the other hand gives you assistance either as charity or concessional loans on one hand, and takes it back many times over, directly and indirectly.

First, aid benefactors blatantly ask you to adopt their ways of life in other to benefit from their funding. That I must wear different clothes, change my religion, tell me who to marry or not to marry, before you give me help is blatantly disrespectful and undemocratic. That is definitely, a slave-master mentality and should not resisted with all the might of the people. Aid therefore leaves you humiliated and must be shunned.

Secondly, aid surreptitiously leaves you less well off and perpetually dependent on aid by design. One, aid programs incorporate technical experts whose salaries and benefits take a large chunk of the aid funds, and these monies are paid into their accounts in their home countries from the aid account. This means that a large proportion of the aid does not benefit the recipients economy. Two, when aid programs and projects end, they often fail ( among other things, because of inadequate local involvement in planning and implementation, including poor training of local counterpart personnel by technical assistance experts) and these make new cases for another round of aid. In addition, aid is used to finance machinery and equipment from manufacturers in the aid givers' home or their global suppliers. Then, aid recipients have to draw on their foreign reserves for many years after the projects are completed to meet operational supplies. These are issues with aid that are well documented.

In summary, aid breeds humiliation and dependence, and Africa should seek investment and business partnerships.

In Response

by: joezhifu from: Singapore
July 01, 2013 2:56 AM
man I agree. It is so sad to have to beg and be told how to beg.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid