‘Africa is no one’s pawn’, says AU chief, as top US, Chinese, Russian officials tour continent – The North Africa Post

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Top American, Chinese and Russian officials — US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — are all scrambling to visit several African nations in January to pledge their countries’ commitment to the world’s fastest-growing continent.

As President Joe Biden prepares to visit Africa later in the year, many of his top officials recently visited Africa. Yellen has reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to deepening relations and trade with Africa during a visit to Senegal, Zambia and South Africa amid competition across the continent from China and Russia. The US must balance the desire to secure the continent’s support against Chinese ambitions and Russian aggression with their promise to work to benefit Africa. Russia’s Lavrov, meanwhile, accused the West of pressuring developing countries to align in favor of Ukraine. His remarks were made in Angola’s capital city on Wednesday January 25 at another stage of his African tour openly seeking international support.

Yellen visited Zambia and stated that it was important for the country’s debt problems with China to be addressed. Beijing asked Washington to stop pressing Beijing for debt relief for Zambia, and instead focus on avoiding a default at home. This could have serious repercussions on the global economy. Washington and Beijing are vying in Africa for influence, where Chinese banks have been major lenders. Yellen pushed to increase US trade and business ties. But African Union Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat says Africa, which was brutally colonized by European powers for centuries, is no one’s pawn. “Africa refuses to be seen as an arena for influence struggles,” said the continent’s top diplomat. “We are open to cooperation and partnerships with everyone, as long as they respect our principles, our priorities and our interests.”

Source: north africa post

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