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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs