1 June 2010


Tom Cargill


  • African countries are playing a more strategic role in international affairs. Global players that understand this and develop greater diplomatic and trade relations with African states will be greatly advantaged.
  • For many countries, particularly those that have framed their relations with Africa largely in humanitarian terms, this will require an uncomfortable shift in public and policy perceptions. Without this shift, many of Africa's traditional partners, especially in Europe and North America, will lose global influence and trade advantages to the emerging powers in Asia, Africa and South America.
  • China's re-engagement is for the most part welcome, as is that of the increasing numbers of emerging powers such as Turkey, South Korea and Brazil that see Africa in terms of opportunities - as a place in which to invest, gain market share and win access to resources.
  • Economic fortunes across Africa are now diverging, making it less meaningful to treat Africa as a single entity in international economic negotiations. Despite this, it is in the global interest that the African Union should be granted a permanent place at the G20. In turn, a more focused, sophisticated and strategic African leadership is needed.

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