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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs