America's top strategic imperative is moving supply chains from China to another lower cost nation. Europe is too high cost and nobody in Africa has the infrastructure & trained workers to pick up the slack. One reason why Vietnam & Mexico are so strategically important to them.
US, like much of Africa is a commodity exporter. Our economies do not complement each other. The US Government isn't looking for new markets to sell products as the US economy is mainly consumption based. They are looking for reliable suppliers for a variety of goods.
Germany drives much of the Eurozone economy. Germany is a major exporter, but they don't export cheap plastic toys, they export high end engineering products. Germany would love Africans to drives Audis & BMWs, but how many Africans can afford them?
Germany has to depend on three major markets; US, China and the EU. This one reason for an EU-China trade deal. They might not like the Chinese, but their major automobile markets need the Chinese market to remain profitable.
UK depends a lot on services. Africans cannot afford most of the services it sells. There's no point wasting time discussing this.

India and China are low cost manufacturers, producing the kind of goods Africans can afford. The are also major commodity importers.
You don't have to be a genius to figure out that India and China are a much better fit for African economies.

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More from @cchukudebelu

11 Jan
A lot has been written the impact of Trump's ban from Twitter and other technology platforms, but that isn't the most important lesson from the past three months for us Africans.

There is a potentially serious impact on democracy around the world, especially Africa.
To bring this home, a thought experiment;

Assume that instead of conceding to Buhari in 2015, Jonathan mobilized his supporters to disrupt final collation and announcement of results by INEC - would Jonathan have been spared being sanctioned by the US State Department? No.
No African politician who attempted anything close to what Trump attempted would be spared being sanctioned by the US State Department.

But that's not all;

By all indications, Trump will emerge from this scot free. The Republican Party will ensure he is not punished.
Read 6 tweets
5 Jan
I remember when Abdulkareem Adisa (he was works minister then), visited Nnewi. He was at a particular street which wasn't tarred - and these were his remarks;

"Look at all their big big houses, they are waiting for Adisa to do their roads".
This happened more than 20 years ago, and it revealed to me that even those in positions in authority in Nigeria fundamentally misunderstand the concept of a "social contract".

The more you do cover for government's incompetence, the less responsible government becomes.
People say we should "build a community, independent of the state" - but they forget that doing that, just leads to even more irresponsible public servants.

Imo State people contributed money to build an airport, did that result in a more responsive government? No.
Read 8 tweets
2 Jan
Canada is effectively part of the US economy, but US sees Canada as a competitor, because Canada is a highly skilled economy.

US is focused on moving supply chains away from China. One reason why they took trade talks with Mexico more seriously than trade talks with Canada.
Britain isn't going to offer the US what Vietnam and Mexico can potentially offer it (low cost manufacturing away from China), so trade talks with Washington will happen, but they aren't excited about them - contrary to what many Brexiteers think.
I don't believe in a "new cold war", but if another "cold war" will be fought, it will be over trade, not ideology.

China understands this perfectly, that's why that trade deal with EU happened.

US just figured this out a few years ago.
Read 4 tweets
31 Dec 20
The European Union doesn't have a unified foreign policy, and it cannot project power like the US, because it does not have a unified military;

But it is a regulatory superpower. EU is a $15.6 trillion GDP market, to sell anything, you have to pay attention to their regulations.
Britain is now out of that market, but it will have to abide by EU regulations. EU will not adopt British regulations, the power asymmetry is stark.

France, on the other hand, is in a pretty good position. It is the EU's major military power & 2nd largest economy.
To understand how powerful EU's regulatory power is; a farmer in Iowa, may not particularly like the idea of not using certain pesticides on his crops - but he has to, if he's to stand a chance of selling them to a $15.6 trillion market.
Read 6 tweets
29 Dec 20
I've been following elections in the Central African Republic on @AlJazeera.

This got me thinking about "democracy in Africa". Some believe democracy is regressing, others believe it is on the rise. I think the answer is a bit complex.
I think Africans are getting tired of the ritual of holding "elections" every four years - especially as "elections" neither guarantee economic growth, internal security nor provision of public goods.

I mean, Somalia conducts "elections", but how relevant are these "elections"?
At the same time, it is impossible to ignore a yearning for more civil liberties and improvement in governance. This goes beyond "elections" - and is what drove movements like #EndSARS in Nigeria & movements in Angola, Algeria, Sudan, Uganda etc.
Read 5 tweets
9 Dec 20
The thing about American Evangelicals is that there are focused on a single foreign policy issue - Israel.

Once a US president gives them what they want on Israel, they aren't going to be that bothered about other issues like persecution of Christians etc.
It is nonsensical to imply that a president like Trump, who cut down refugee admission numbers 86% from 2016 to 2020 had any real interest in "promoting religious freedom".

It was all talk, with no substance to back it.
Naïve Nigerian Christians were elated when Trump commented on the plight of Nigerian Christians to Buhari.

But what was Buhari in Washington to do? Sign a $500 m arms contract - in contravention of Leahy laws. So the Trump Administration had no real interest in their plight.
Read 6 tweets

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