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China-US rivalry to play out in East Africa-report

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A new report indicates that China-US rivalry is headed to Africa even as The US cautions about the perils of Chinese debt-fuelled spending for economic stability.

The RiskMap 2019 by specialist global risk consultancy Control Risks shows that Early signs indicates that the US-China rivalry will find its way to the African continent in 2019 with East Africa given top priority.

“So far, the US-China rivalry that dominated global headlines in 2018 has played out less visibly in Africa than on other continents. Support for China or the US has not emerged as a defining issue in African politics, with most countries keen to pursue closer ties and seek financing from both sides rather than falling neatly on one camp. In 2019 we might see this changing,”
says George Nicholls, Senior Partner for Southern Africa based in Johannesburg.

“While still the largest investor on the continent, the US has seen its engagement on the continent become more narrowly focused on security matters under the current administration – in contrast to China which has made formidable inroads in sub-Saharan Africa over the last decade.

“2019 will show revived US interest in development finance and lending for infrastructure projects on the continent and a more concerted US commercial strategy towards Africa is likely to take shape. The increased rivalry will therefore open up additional investment opportunities but will also present African countries with increasingly starker foreign policy and commercial choices.”

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