growing impact; china’s investment in africa, where is the US?

When you think about where your life is going and what you want to do and why you want to do it, do you ever consider the impact your decision will have on others and not just yourself? I am an strong idealist and I with the work that I do I can’t see defining myself as anything else. I dream of a world with universal access to the necessary healthcare that all people need. I dream of a world where co-existance and peace are a norm, I dream of a world where everyone, whether they know it or not, is connected by their actions and decisions. However, I not only dream, but I envision and believe that such a world is a possibility.

At any rate, if you have been reading the news lately you very well have noticed that there are peace talks in Uganda and they seem to have gone very well, since a peace accord was signed late last month. This accord will end two decades of violence and will hopefully lead to a rebuilding and return to positive advances. Peace is growing in the region, yet as it does the crisis and genocide in Sudan continues as reports of indiscriminate aerial bombings by Sudanese government planes was reported today. Reconciliation talks continue in Rwanda, presidential elections in Gambia, and the Liberian president is recognized for her peaceful efforts.

The stability of the continent is growing, but is the western model the best? Is capitalism and democracy the only right way to run a country? Only time will tell, and of growing concern is the role of China in African Affairs. My friend is currently studying in Egypt and has said that he has seen the growing Chinese presence in Egypt within the tourism industry. The growing impact of China in Africa is alarming not for the fact that China is the last remaining communist state, but what is alarming is the policy that China presented in January of this year (2006). Click the title of this post to view the full Policy.

China and Africa have had a long relationship of political support. As China and various African states gained independence the relationship grew and, as China writes, increase in bi-lateral trade and economic cooperation. China outlines a number of cooperations, however as with most documents, everything looks good on paper and it makes me wonder if this is the last sweep and takeover of Africa. China is in search of natural resources and the resource rich African continent is ripe for the picking. With China and Africa’s history and China’s policy to assist any form of government to develop (regardless of a particular government’s disregard for human rights or caring for its people). What I take from this policy is that China will assist African leaders to build their infrastructure in exchange for natural resources. Will China finally suck Africa dry and leave its people to rot with no chances for sustainable development? Will the US or other Western powers not also take on a stronger policy on Africa? Will our leaders continue their policy of turning a blind eye toward the African continent. The US has carried this policy well. With our military failures and the tyrant leaders we propped up all leading to disaster, I feel the US has an even greater responsibility to invest in the continent and assist in its positive development to support its people. I am worried that China will toss aside the African continent like an empty candy wrapper after devouring the delicious chocolate inside before the African people can even rebuild their lives. Again only time will tell, but this is my call to the US government to adopt a strong African Policy based on investment for sustainable development and cooperation, as China has declared to do, but we owe it to the people. I hope to travel back to Africa soon, will I need to know Chinese to get around? (Note: I have nothing against the Chinese language or people, but its government’s history makes me worry)

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