Africa after so many centuries remains a disputed land over so many conflicts on peace, development, military power, increasing poverty, and so on. The combined power of 55 countries in Africa accounts for 9percent of global power. Africa clearly lacks unity in regional settlement issues and political governance and leadership on the total continent.
The colonization of Africa dates back to the 19th century when Britain and France started to import raw materials and slaves, thus establishing a geopolitical influence on Africa. Two centuries later, China and the US have emerged as major global powers, with India, Russia, Europe, and other countries to marginally lead the race.
If Africa failed to dominate global diplomatic engagement, what made it worthwhile to China?
Africa had now 54 sovereign states, leading 17 percent of the world population, 9.6 percent of the global oil output, 90 percent of the world’s platinum supply, 90percent of the world’s cobalt supply, half of the world’s gold supply, 2/3 of the world’s manganese supply, 35 percent of the world’s uranium, 75 percent of world’s Coltan, and 54 votes in the United Nations General Assembly. Africa has turned out to be a nest for leading power countries to undertake matters of investment, trade, military power, diplomacy, and soft power for their benefits.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first to extend his friendship to Africa in a time span of 50 years. He saw to the similar vested interests of Africa to defeat Palestine in the United Nations Resolutions and asked to join hands. In 2016 Israel invested in Solar, water, and agricultural technologies in Africa while Senegal in West Africa fought against the construction of illegal Jewish settlements along the west bank in the United Nations Assembly. In turn, Israel gave up on the mushaf drip irrigation project. Brussels (capital of Belgium )also made negotiations to get free access to African markets. China is sponsoring one of the five infrastructure projects in Africa, now and then, has already spent 2 trillion dollars in Africa to build 6200kms of Railways. Beijing has also built the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. In 2017 China built its first overseas base at the horn of Africa, Djibouti which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean via the Swiss canal and can accommodate 10000 Chinese troops. Africa now not only sees an inflow of military power but also Chinese goods as China has emerged to be Africa’s number one trader with more than 8000 Chinese firms operating in Africa. Thus gradually China is establishing its geopolitical influence over Africa as Africa is exposed to China’s currency and culture. While China is also grabbing the spoils from Africa’s mining sector, the United Nations has become the largest investor in Africa with 54billion dollars of FDI stock. Despite Africa gets exploited by the US, it seems to be engaged in a never-ending war with Washington DC as some 7000 military troops were deployed and spread across 13 countries. The US amidst the war has seen an opportunity to defeat China by putting Africa on the pedestal. India in fighting apartheid and colonization in Ghana, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and many more have established a unique bond with the African countries. In 2018 alone, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 18 embassies in Africa. India also has defense partnerships with Nigeria, Zambia, Botswana, and a few others. Even Indian company Airtel is a dominant telecom service in Africa.
However, India and the US cannot be blamed for the obscure debt Africa is facing. It is China who is trying deliberately to occupy Africa the same way the British occupied India. The war between Britain and France destroyed Africa completely and now the rivalry between the US and China for trade is further weakening Africa’s economy, dooming its future forever.