News / Africa

US Takes Different Approach to Africa than China

US Takes Different Approach to Africa Than Chinai
X
Luis Ramirez
August 06, 2014 11:50 PM
President Barack Obama's effort to engage Africa brought together the largest summit of African leaders ever held in Washington. But China has hosted such summits before, and the U.S. gathering highlights what some see as a belated U.S. effort to catch up and expand its economic ties with Africa. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
US Takes Different Approach to Africa Than China
Luis Ramirez

President Barack Obama's effort to engage Africa brought together the largest summit of African leaders ever held in Washington. But China has hosted such summits before, and the U.S. gathering highlights what some see as a belated U.S. effort to catch up and expand its economic ties with Africa.

The might of large American corporations like Coca Cola is powering the Obama administration's latest efforts to build its partnership with Africa.

The company at the summit announced it's boosting its investment by $5 billion in safe water and other programs.

China, too, has invested heavily -- doing twice as much trade with Africa as the U.S. But Beijing has been accused of ignoring governance and human rights issues.

Corporate investment

Obama announced $14 billion of American corporate investment at the Africa summit, but indicated the United States will have a different approach.

“Capital is one thing. Development programs and projects are one thing. But, but rule of law? Regulatory reform? Good governance? Those things matter even more, because people should be able to start a business and ship their goods without having to pay a bribe or hire somebody's cousin.”

This was a big summit, but Beijing started hosting equally large numbers of African leaders 14 years ago.

U.S. officials say there is no competition with China for Africa.

Human rights, governance

Analyst Richard Downie agrees. "I think at heart, the U.S. and China have mutual interests in Africa. They're both interested in peace, stability and security because that's the best environment in which to grow markets and do business."

He said the U.S. seeks a new kind of engagement.

“The U.S. has traditionally focused very much on development issues, on tackling some of the big public health crises in Africa, such as HIV/AIDS and trying to resolve some of the most persistent conflicts," said Downie. "So it’s really focused on the downsides, the problems of Africa rather than the upside, the economic opportunities that China is focused on.”

This summit focused on the upside, with economic issues taking center stage. There were no sessions devoted to rule of law and justice. White House officials said leaders had a chance to talk about those issues on the sidelines.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mehmet from: Ankara
August 07, 2014 4:15 PM
turn africa into another detroit..that is the difference.

by: Peter Wu from: canada
August 07, 2014 11:33 AM
yeah, America, try to copy China now? too late and you dont have the money, dude! there is nothing left for america to do in Africa, get out of there.
if you want to help, ok, learn how to shut up first!
In Response

by: Peter wu from: Canada
August 09, 2014 2:46 AM
@mike, are you kidding me? Win win? Did Iraq war has a win win? Or Afghanistan has a win win? Or, Libya, Ukraine?
Where America goes where is chaos, death, everyone loses including America itself. America wasted trillions and thousands soldiers lives in Iraq, but after ten years there is still a mess in Iraq, ppl's life is much worse than under sadams rule!
Mike you are either a troll or an idiot!
In Response

by: Mike from: Canada
August 08, 2014 9:59 AM
When you deal with U.S., there is win-win situation. When you deal with China, China only takes and the other country loose, example Africa and South East Asia. Even Burma doesn't want to deal with China, next Vietnam.

by: Tony from: USA
August 07, 2014 8:49 AM
Hey OmBanana... LOL... you are right, the "pivot" to Asia didn't work... it looks like a stupid joke. and Yeah, we are all looking for new imports of Ebola from Africa... courtesy of the UN... LOL. This idiotic Administration has demoralized our best friends (Israel, Britain) and encouraged our worst enemies (Hamas, Palestinian Jihad, ISIL, Hizbulla, Iran.........)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs