Africanews’ June 6 article “Why Africa will choose Beijing in ongoing US-China trade war” provides valuable information to support my May 22 comment here that Africans have a decisive role in shaping Huawei’s global future.
“… Much of the continent’s telecommunications backbone has been built and is still being built by Huawei. Should Huawei get crippled by sanctions, Africa’s technology and communication gains will suffer as well …
“… While America may have legitimate concerns about Huawei gear in its communications infrastructure, Africa’s worries, for now, are about connectivity. The continent just wants to get online …
“… As Addis, Nairobi and Kigali position themselves as centres of innovation; boasting about gains in AI work and robotics, they can and should worry that Washington has a tendency to be erratic and punitive … (pay attention to the description: ‘erratic and punitive’)
“… Huawei’s telco equipment is cheap and reliable … The share of Africa’s urban population is projected to increase to 50% and 60% by 2030 and 2060 respectively. China long figured out when and where to be in Africa …”
China’s efforts in Africa are not without competition. Africans are free to choose as all major powers are competing for their attention seriously. For example, South Africa’s Business Report said on July 1 that “US-China-Russia race for Africa is well and alive:
“The Trump administration now wants to introduce a new approach, namely, ‘Prosper Africa’ that shifts US focus on the continent from aid to industry …
What makes people feel frustrated, however, is that this new project which “will offer technical help to companies looking to enter or grow in Africa” is merely “$50 million” (USD).
So, who looks more attractive to the Africans?
If we understand the concept of ‘primacy’ in the study of International Relations as what I mentioned here on June 19, the Africans will not just decide Huawei’s future, but also, with their rich natural resources plus their resoluteness to strengthen themselves so as to catch up with others, have a heavy weight in determining how fast and how strong China could be.
The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.