The re-election of US President Barrack Obama for a second term and election of China's new leader, Xi Jinping, send mixed signals to Africa. While Obama had to seek legitimacy from a competitive and almost acrimonious vote hunting system from the citizenry, China's Xi Jinping was elected almost in a “white and black smoke” style common with religious groups that anchor their authority to the supernatural.
The US President faced stiff competition from the Republican Party on grounds that under his watch, the US has been rendered vulnerable to socio-political and economic shocks. Following his promise that he had listened to Americans, Obama will most likely be riveted on reducing the US deficit, reforming the tax code, fixing the US immigration system and freeing America from foreign oil, among others. Although America will concentrate more on its internal affairs, it will continue to actively play its role as a power keen on global stability. The US is likely to be stuck on its old message to Africa namely democracy, peace, youth and access to natural resources.
Xi Jinping is on his way to be the power man in China. According to the outgoing President Hu Jintao, China will craft a new model of economic growth, fight corruption and reform its political structure to make it more inclusive and democratic without copying the West. To sustain its growing economy, China’s policy on Africa will not change much. China will strive for a much united Africa to ease on logistical bottlenecks as well as strengthen issues to do with FOCAC, peace, security and natural resources acquisition.
Both Barrack Obama and Xi Jinping are likely to agree on the need for global stability to sustain the growth momentum of their economies. The two are likely to meet on the continent in search for natural resources and expanded markets. Uncoordinated response from Africa is likely to yield fewer benefits from both the old and re-emerging power houses.
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