The West -- in particular the USA -- wants to announce: America is open for business with Africa.
As many African countries are experiencing economic growth, China has already established a huge footprint with Trade not Aid.
Now is the time for the West to rewrite the African narrative and recognize trade and business opportunities that are mutually beneficial. Read on from CNN.com
There is a one-word subtext to President Obama's trip to Africa: China.
After 9/11, the United States became embroiled in more than a decade of wars in Asia and the Middle East. As a result, U.S. engagement in Latin America and Africa largely atrophied.
Meanwhile, China saw an opportunity. China has now displaced the United States as the largest trading partners of two key Latin American countries, Brazil and Chile.
China's economic rise is particularly marked in Africa; it quietly surpassed the United States as the continent's largest trading partner four years ago.
Sino-African trade is now estimated to be $200 billion a year and is expected to rise to $325 billion in the next two years.
While the conventional view has long been that Africa is largely a motley collection of economic basket cases, in fact, according to the most recent IMF figures, five out of 10 of the world's fastest-growing economies are in Africa.
Indeed, South Sudan, Libya and Sierre Leone are the globe's top three economic hot spots with projected 2013 growth rates of 32%, 20% and 17% respectively.
As if to underline the importance that the Chinese see in Africa, within two weeks of assuming office in March 2013, the new Chinese president Xi Jinping visited two of the three African countries
Obama will be visiting on his African trip, Tanzania and South Africa.
China is the largest trading partner for both of those nations.
Seemingly as a result of its substantial investments and trade in Africa, China is well liked on the continent. A 2007 Pew Research Center survey found 92% of respondents held favorable views of China in the Ivory Coast and Mali, and between 67% and 81% held favorable views in Kenya, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia. read entire story