The UK’s engagement with Africa is often expressed in terms of a “new scramble for Africa“, but this misses out what Africa wants. Certainly Africa wants partnerships with the west, but these need to be equal partnerships that also serve Africa’s strategic vision. For Africa and Europe is simply one among a range of partnerships, which also include Asia and Latin America.
There is another reason why Africa is keen to partner the west. The continent is embarking on a period of internationalism in which it aims to be a key player in the global economic, financial, diplomatic and security architecture. To do this it needs to partner the established players such as the UK. So while the talk is of a new scramble for Africa, for Africans the real issue is Africa’s scramble for the world.
We are dealing with a new great game; at first glance it is about the UK and the world’s role in Africa. But look again: for a new generation of Africans it is actually about pan-African empowerment. If the UK and Europe are to avoid a second wave of recession, they will need Africa’s help as a trade and investment partner. Europe needs Africa. Who’d have thought it?
Read the whole piece here.