While the COVID pandemic and war in Ukraine have caused economic shocks throughout Africa, the dire socioeconomic conditions in parts of the continent are also a product of how global, multilateral finance institutions are organized. African countries rarely have access to the development funds they need — and when they do, it’s often on stringent terms. Meanwhile, the continent’s socioeconomic struggles continue to exacerbate political and security crises as well. Solomon Dersso, founding director of Amani Africa, discusses the 2023 African Union Summit’s renewed focus on reforming development and trade and the importance of framing U.S.-Africa ties as a partnership built on mutual interests rather than a means to counter China or Russia.
The Latest @ USIP: Development Financing Reform in the U.S.-Africa Partnership
The Latest @ USIP: To Improve Stability in Africa, Invest in Agriculture
To improve continental stability, African countries need to focus on the equitable creation of wealth for their citizens. And with farmers representing over 70 percent of the continent’s population, the path toward equitable wealth involves improving the durability and development of Africa’s largest industry: agriculture. Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, discusses how food insecurity stemming from the war in Ukraine has refocused investment in African farmers, why improving infrastructure is the key to unlocking more foreign investment in African countries, and how the private sector can help promote peace throughout the continent.
Marcos Meets Biden Amid Tightening Security Ties
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is in Washington this week, capping off a period in which Washington-Manila ties have seen a sharp turnaround. During former President Rodrigo Duterte’s six-year tenure, he sought to align Manila closer with Beijing, but with ultimately little to show for it. Since taking office last June, Marcos has moved to reverse course, dramatically deepening the 70-year-old U.S.-Philippines security alliance amid China’s increasingly coercive actions in the South China Sea. It is expected that Marcos and President Joe Biden will announce this week plans for stepped up military coordination.
Dean Cheng on U.S.-China Tensions Over Taiwan
With both U.S.-China and Taiwan-China relations at low points, the United States needs to maintain unity among its multilateral partnerships, says USIP’s Dean Cheng: “China loves to play bilateral games … because 1.3 billion people in the second largest economy gives them a lot of power and influence.”
Brazil’s Economic Ties with China Flourish Despite Political Shifts
Much has been said about how Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s third presidency will move Brazil closer to China. Brazil is China’s most important trading partner in South America, and a new agreement to conduct bilateral commerce in their respective currencies rather than the U.S. dollar is expected to further boost bilateral trade. Strengthening China-Brazil relations, especially in the areas of trade and investment, will be at the top of the agenda when Lula meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on April 14.