AS part of a pushback strategy to China’s trade influence in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) which far outpaced that of the United States (US) over the last decade, US Vice President, Kamala Harris, will start an official visit to the region next week.
The US annual trade value with the region has slowed over the last decade, relative to before 2010, as China’s trade had surpassed the country since 2011 and has maintained that lead in the region.
“The Biden administration has been accelerating its campaign to rebuild American influence in Africa, where it lost ground to soft influence via Chinese investment,” Bloomberg reported on Friday, March 24.
A week-long trip, Harris’ next week – starting Monday, March 27 through April 1 – becomes the latest top official to visit, with stops scheduled in Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia.
“She’s following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken,” Bloomberg stated, recalling that at a December summit with the Africa continent’s leaders, US President Joe Biden pledged a $55 billion support package for Africa.
“But that’s a drop in the bucket,” Bloomberg added.
Between 2000 and 2010, US annual trade with SSA grew more than China’s in the region, findings by The ICIR has shown.
Between 2000 and 2010, the East Asian country’s trades with SSA were lower with minimal margin, compared to US.
But between 2011 and 2021, China trade surpassed that of the U.S., and with a sharp margin from 2012 to become the region’s largest trading.
Trade with China is growing much faster than that with the US as China boosted over $160 billion annual trade in 2021, compared to $50 from the US.
In its Global Economic Prospects, June 2015, the World Bank stated that China’s economic ties with SSA expanded “greatly” over the past decade.
The report showed that trade increased from negligible levels in 2000 to more than $170 billion in 2013, the Bretton Woods Institution said. “Chinese direct investment in SSA also grew more than six-fold,” adding that China’s official development assistance to SSA expanded from $0.5 billion in 2000 to $3.2 billion in 2013.