Spread the love

Maina wa Njuguna

Just several weeks ago, the US President Joseph Biden hosted over 40 African heads of states and The African Union to reaffirm that the US was back and serious about doing business in Africa.

The US commited $55 billion in economic, health and security aid to the continent over the next three years.

Secretary Yellen’s 10 day visit is to strengthen economic ties and reaffirm the US commitment to Africa. On Friday, she reiterated America’s intention to expand trade and investment on the continent.

After many years of a lackadaisical approach to the African continent, the US 🇺🇸 has been growing weary of a surging China 🇨🇳 that had been left to roam, cut business deals, and dish out loans to regimes.

The China Belt and Road Initiative project.
Image credit: /asiagreen/

The China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) launched in 2013 is one of the country’s most ambitious foreign-economic policy. China has underwritten billions of dollars for infrastructure development in countries along the old Silk Road connecting it with Europe.

The BRI has transformed the African landscape and seen roads, railways, bridges, hospitals, schools and airports constructed. This has had a tremendous positive impact where trade has skyrocked, created jobs, and improved education and health among African countries.

China has so far spent over 1 trillion dollars. The initiative has had its short comings as debtor countries ridden with humongous loans struggle to pay back amid global economic slowdown, the COVID-19 and its aftermath, and high inflation.

The Port of Doraleh is an extension of the Port of Djibouti, 5 km funded by China. The multipurpose port has terminals for handling oil, bulk cargo, and containers. Image: /
The East African Railway Master Plan, a proposal for connecting the railways serving Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. Image:/
The Nairobi-Mombasa Railway – a China Belt and Road project /Courtesy/

It is with this backdrop that Secretary Yellen is making several stops on the continent. She first landed in Dakar, Senegal 🇸🇳 to highlight business incubator for entrepreneurs, then head to Zambia 🇿🇲 to tour agricultural sites and South Africa 🇿🇦 where she will visit a wildlife park and a Ford assembly plant – to showcase Africa-US cooperation.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sought to contrast Washington’s approach to Africa with that of Russia and China during a speech in Dakar, Senegal, on January 20, 2023 [Stefan Kleinowitz/AP Photo]

US Treasury secretary says Biden administration’s engagement with the continent is ‘not for show’ or the ‘short-term’.

Janet Yellen

“The U.S. wants to emphasize that U.S. investment is a better and more reliable way to deliver widely shared growth and prosperity across the continent,” she said, “precisely because it is transparent, aligned with values of democracy and human rights, and also tied to governance reforms to reduce corruption.”

“That’s a stark contrast to the Chinese model of investment, which has prioritized quick construction and resource extraction over good governance requirements”, she added.

She is attending today in Senegal the groundbreaking of a U.S. financed rural electrification project that’s being led by an American engineering firm after which she will head to Zambia and South Africa.

Africa’s expansive natural resources have heightened a rush to the continent as major powers tussle to get a piece of the action.

About Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *