News Analysis: New U.S. strategy on Africa risks further alienating itself from the continent: Kenyan analysts

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-14 20:25:24|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NAIROBI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government's newly announced Africa strategy is poorly informed about what Africa wants and risks further alienating itself from the continent, Kenyan analysts have said.

Gerishon Ikiara, economics lecturer at the University of Nairobi and former government official, said that for many years, the United States had underestimated the China-Africa economic, political and diplomatic relations which have grown in the last two decades.

The Prosper Africa initiative, published by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on Thursday, calls China-Africa relations "predatory," which, according to Ikiara, displays an ignorance of what attracts Africa to Chinese development assistance as compared to the Western aid.

"A look at key elements of the new U.S. strategy for Africa demonstrates Washington's poor understanding of China-Africa relations and could easily weaken even more Africa-U.S. economic and political relations," he said.

The new U.S. strategy, observed Ikiara, is poorly informed about what Africa desires in its relations with development partners in general and with major countries in particular.

"The strategy will most likely draw Africa and the United States of America further and further apart," he said.

Eric Mangunyi, a senior consultant at Nairobi-based Em-Pioneer Consultants and researcher at Walter Sisulu University of South Africa, called the strategy "a sign of panic."

In its new strategy, the U.S. govenrment plans to reevaluate its support for United Nations peacekeeping missions, and this, according to Mangunyi, possibly leads to terminating missions it deems ineffective or inefficient.

"This might be tragic for Africa, especially for war-torn countries because they have relied on the missions for some form of stability," he said.

He observed that African countries shifted to the East because the Chinese people were willing to offer loans for development without much lecturing.

"While the loans have left Africa indebted, citizens are enjoying stadiums, using roads and railways -- all modern. The U.S. unfortunately has come late because African countries may not absorb more loans," he said.

According to him, the Chinese loans are directed at infrastructure projects like rail and roads which have great impact on the lives of African people.

"The U.S. on the other hand has invested indiscriminatingly its foreign aid (in) fighting terrorism but the problem still persists. It has tried to instill democracy but Africans have their own sense of democracy," he said.

According to Ikiara, the U.S. Africa strategy signals a fresh scramble for the resources of the African continent.