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Jul 31, 2015

The difference between US and Chinese foreign policies in Africa was on stark display in July when president Barack Obama made his landmark visits to Kenya and Ethiopia. The president brought along with him a vast agenda that transcended trade, democracy, human rights, gay rights, women's issues and on and on and on. Compare that to similar visits to both of these countries by either Chinese president Xi Jinping or Prime Minister Li Keqiang who focus their attention exclusively on trade and development. In the run up to the president's trip, senior US officials, including Obama himself, repeated their long-held position that the administration is not concerned in the least about China's rapidly expanding presence on the continent. Given that Chinese trade with Africa now dwarfs the United States, by 3-to-1, a growing number of analysts say it might be time for the US to take the Chinese in Africa more seriously. This week, Eric & Cobus take a look back at the president's trip and analyze the increasingly the divergent paths the US and China are taking to engage Africa. In the run up to the president's trip, senior US officials, including Obama himself, repeated their long-held position that the administration is not concerned in the least about China's rapidly expanding presence on the continent. Given that Chinese trade with Africa now dwarfs the United States, by 3-to-1, a growing number of analysts say it might be time for the US to take the Chinese in Africa more seriously. This week, Eric & Cobus take a look back at the president's trip and analyze the increasingly the divergent paths the US and China are taking to engage Africa.