Africa… Will it be a contentious dossier at the Macron-Biden summit?

Africa… Will it be a contentious dossier at the Macron-Biden summit?

Africa… Will it be a contentious dossier at the Macron-Biden summit?

Africa… Will it be a contentious dossier at the Macron-Biden summit?

Experts: Paris is trying to preserve the ‘remnants’ of its influence… and Washington to besiege Chinese ‘expansion’.

Thursday – 8 Jumada Al-Awwal 1444 AH – December 01, 2022 AD Issue number [

Macron and his wife Brigitte disembarked at Andrews Base in Maryland the day before yesterday (AFP)

Cairo: Osama Al-Saeed

Parallel to the many points of agreement between the United States and France, Africa stands out as an act likely to witness a “divergence” of interests and viewpoints between the two countries during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to America in the current period of March 29-19. November to November 2nd. This December 2022. According to pundits who spoke with Asharq Al-Awsat about Paris’ quest to preserve the “remnants” of its influence while Washington moves to besiege Chinese “expansion.”
dr Mohamed Youssef Al-Hassan, a Chadian researcher and political analyst, believes that Africa will already be “present” on the agenda of the Franco-US summit as the two countries enjoy “extensive” influence on the continent, and they do “clear efforts” to reinforce these interests in the face of growing global competition for a presence in many African countries.
Al-Hassan told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the terror and energy files are most prominent in relation to the African continent, especially given the expansion of terrorist group activities in West African countries and additionally in the Sahel countries to the possibility that Africa will be an important energy resource that Europe and the United States alike need.” He pointed to estimates by the US National Security Council, which suggest America has tended to import 25 percent of its total energy and oil needs from Africa in recent years .
Ambassador Salah Halima, vice-president of the Egyptian Council for African Affairs, believes that the room for divergence in the American and French visions appears to be “limited”. Finally, they reflect Western interests in the African continent, and the first interest, although there is a discrepancy in priorities, relates to “managing Chinese, Russian, Turkish and Iranian expansion in the countries of the continent”.
Halima told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the Franco-American summit could deliver a bilateral deal to deal with Russian (Wagner) influence, which has become a major figure in the West African region and the Sahel countries and is causing real unrest in the country West creates influence as African countries work with (Wagner) one after another, thus paving the way for the growth of Russia’s presence in this strategic region.
Observers believe France is trying to preserve its “remaining” influence on the African continent and make up for successive “losses” to regional rivals led by Russia, but the United States doesn’t seem to be betting much on dwindling French influence on the continent , but seeks to intervene directly to prevent the “Chinese threat” from escalating, which “does not” seem to have the same priority as the French leadership.

fighting strategies
The US-French competition to build interests and alliances on the African continent has been one of the “controversial” acts of recent times, and one aspect of the competition is that each country issues its own strategy on the continent, even if it is the Case Two countries agree on the source of the threat to their interests in the continent, which is rich in natural resources that account for about 33 percent of the world’s total available resources, as it is a major producer of more than 70 percent of those important to it Minerals is global industries, along with oil and gas, represents about 25 percent of the world’s production of gold and valuable gems such as diamonds. They contain 65 percent of the world’s arable land and 10 percent of renewable freshwater.
And France announced last November 9 that it is preparing a new strategy in Africa that will not be limited to reconsidering its political and military presence, but will also involve a reform of its development aid policy, increasing its budget and expanding increased focus on sub-Saharan Africa and preference for grants over loans.
On the other hand, on August 8, Washington unveiled a “new policy document” that “includes a major reformulation of its policy in sub-Saharan Africa to confront the Russian and Chinese presence and counter terrorism.”
The document, released by the US State Department, confirmed that “the United States has a keen interest in ensuring that the region remains open and accessible to all and that governments and peoples are free to make their own policy decisions.” And these open societies, she added, “generally tend to work with the United States to counter the harmful activities of the People’s Republic of China, Russia, and other foreign actors.”
The Chadian researcher points out that “Washington’s primary aim is to besiege China and prevent its advance into Africa, at a time when direct Chinese investment in the continent has exceeded $2 billion and Beijing has over the course of the established 25 trade cooperation zones in 16 African countries by 2021.”
Al-Hassan says: “The United States must increase its presence on the continent and it is aware that France is retreating militarily and economically in Africa and its presence is no longer welcome in many countries, which will pave the way for powerful players like Russia and China, and therefore the US administration will be forced to work alone and isolated from France to pursue its strategic interests in Africa.
Halima agrees that “the United States will be more concerned with countering Chinese influence,” but at the same time he points out that “Western influence in Africa is flowing in a strategic direction, and each country is aware of the spheres of influence of others.” western countries, such as France still present in the francophone countries, Britain in the anglophone countries and the United States as a superpower in the world, maintain strong ties and influence in both blocs and seek to develop them in the face of competition from China and Russia.
The French President’s visit to Washington anticipates the US-Africa summit to be hosted by the US capital in less than two weeks, according to the US State Department’s official website.Biden invited 49 African leaders to the summit, while 45 night According to the US State Department, African heads of state and government have agreed to attend the summit.
Observers believe the US-Africa summit will take on “double meaning” given the course of the Russo-Ukrainian war and Moscow’s inability to host a Russian version of that meeting.


The United Cities

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