Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the favourite China in Africa Podcast. Were here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically faulty themes, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China.

The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new period of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not astonishingly, Trumps unpredictable, provocative style is triggering widespread headache across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in Africa.

China, by comparison, is a step in the opposite direction. Beijings New Years announcement to finally outlaw its domestic bone trade, although long overdue, was widely praised as an important step in the struggle to save Africas embattled elephant person. Also this month, Chinas foreign minister, Wang Yi, will clear his customary first overseas tour of the year that always begins in Africa where he will call five countries. All of this is set amid the backdrop of surging Chinese investment in Africa as part of President Xi Jinpings 2015 $60 billion fiscal package and the rollout of Chinas ambitious world-wide trading programme known as One Belt, One Road, which moves through a number of countries in Northeast Africa where the Chinese are now wasting thousands of millions of dollars to build out new civilian and military infrastructure.

POOL New/ Reuters Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in 2016.

What Would You Do?

Imagine that you are President Edgar Lungu in Zambia or Nigerias President Muhammadu Buhari or Tanzanian President John Magufuli. What would you do? Your own country have been battered by the continue slump in global stock prices and while you may have turned to the U.S. for both aid and leadership in the past, this new chairperson and his new cabinet do not seem like theyre very interested in your regions of the world. While Chinese delegatings from the foreign secretary downstream through your country one after another, where are the Americans? While presidents and prime ministers from other countries throughout the world have been called to the gilded Trump Tower , nothing from Africa have been invited up to that famed penthouse in Manhattan, at least none that received media attention.

Although its wholly counterintuitive, Donald Trump truly could be the best thing to have ever happened to the Chinese in Africa. The instability that he seems to be instigate is attaining the Chinese ogle so good in differ. Whereas the incoming U.S. chairman is threatening to limit foreign trade, cancel aid programs and register Muslims, the Chinese are opening their markets wider for African produce, increasing financial assistance programs on the continent and likelysponsoring more African students than any other country in the world to study in their universities. So if you were in Lungus, Buharis or Magufulis position, the choice on how to align your countrys attentions, both financial and political, is probably becoming a lot more apparent.

Janet Eom, study administrator at the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, has been closely following the presidential expedition and the run-up to Donald Trumps inauguration with an gaze on how this will all impact Sino-African ties. Janet assembles Eric& Cobus in the podcast above to discuss whats ahead in U.S.-China-Africa relations.

Join the conversation. Do you think that the Trump presidency will benefit the Chinese in Africa or does it even matter? Trump has predicted an America First agenda to his constituents and so what if U.S. influence descends in some parts of the world? Wed like hear from you.


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