Africa is the richest continent in the world

Africa is the richest continent in the world in terms of natural resources, but simultaneously is the poorest continent in the world in terms of the wealth of its citizens. It’s no secret that Africa has been subjected to extensive colonization from the Western powers like Great Britain, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands but now people are starting to take notice and be somewhat wary of the role that China is now playing in the African nations
In terms of history China has been linked to Africa since about the 14th century in terms of trade, with some historians believing that there were earlier transcontinental trade routes The voyages of Admiral Zheng He to Africa is iconic history; Admiral Zheng He was of the Hui ethnic group and a devout Muslim and a tenet of Islam is that a devout Muslim must make a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca at least once But Zheng He is expeditions were just the beginning In the modern era – the Mao and post-Mao era  China has become more and more involved in Africa  economy as well as diplomacy, military, culture and in some cases politics. The world has a watchful eye on China and Africa in particular is worried that China’s intentions may not be in Africa’s best interests In particular, they Are worried that China’s primary interests are for itself which ushers in fears of neo-colonialism
Colonialism and imperialism operate along the same lines; the mother country sets up a colony or colonial presence in a nation and simultaneously procures a supposed symbiotic relationship. In theory, the colony would give money and exports to the mother country, while the mother country provides protection. The problem with imperialism and colonialism is that it frequently turns much darker and not only can lead to blatant racism and a sense of cultural superiority from the mother country, but can lead to exploitation and instead of a symbiotic relationship it could become a parasitic relationship To put things in perspective, many African nations gained their independence at around the same time as the Asian colonies The New World colonies for the most part gained their independence in the 18th and 19th centuries. But then the European powers (and Japan) moved into Asia, setting up colonies in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) among others China itself was subjected to the European powers influence during the time of the Opium Wars, the Spheres of Influence and the World Wars – also having to deal with Japanese imperialism, occupation and the Sino-Japanese Wars Decolonization of Africa started in the 1950s and 1960s, and Asia soon followed Nigeria gained independence in 1960 and Singapore, noted for its skyscrapers and booming economy, gained independence in 1965 Soviet Russia and Communist China were the only two main powers that actively supported the end of colonialism in Africa and Asia since the Old Masters did little but exploit or create racial tensions while vampirizing the resources of their colonies But there is a marked difference between Africa and Asia That’s development Nigeria is known as the Giant of Africa and yet suffers from incompetence and corruption from its leaders and a failing infrastructure. Although Africa is far from the desert wasteland it’s often portrayed to be, nations like Malaysia and Singapore are much more built up than many African nations and regional pandemics, genocidal warfare and corrupt officials are still commonplace in Africa Consider Nigeria and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) Nigeria gained independence from the Britain in 1960 The UAE gained independence from Britain in 1971 They are both oil producing nations The difference? Nigeria has rampant corruption, intermittent power outages is lacking in facilities and while most of the nation lives on scraps, the senators are the most well-paid senators in the world Each Nigerian senator earns more than President Obama Most of the Nigerian public barely has the money to make ends meet as it is
Why? Because although Nigeria produces oil it has no facilities to manufacture it It has to ship out its crude oil to be processed into gasoline/petrol, and then shipped back into Nigeria – for a fee – and then the price of oil goes up at the pump The funds to make or repair the places that would make oil for the nation consistently go missing, as does the money to repair the roads where people die every day as the roads give way and make huge craters The UAE, in contrast, has a booming economy and Dubai is an economic Mecca
China is frequently giving money in loans to Africa or building up various buildings for them The African Union Conference Center in Addis Ababa Ethiopia was built as a gift from the Chinese government
In terms of social customs being impacted many African people feel wary about Chinese involvement with the effects of the Old Masters still present especially in areas like the Niger Delta where oil spillage is largely covered up by the media even though the risks of cancer and tumors are prevalent in that area as is undrinkable water Fears are also prevalent in nations like South Africa which had to deal with the British Apartheid, or areas with pirates, areas with “blood diamonds” or the areas where the government is so corrupt or incompetent that people could get away with what they want In fact there have been some near-international incidents where various Chinese people have told Africans that they should learn Chinese – despite the fact that they were on African soil. The imperialist overtones resound very strongly in Africa, where people were told to speak French or German or English and then had their governments and courts then conducted in that language
What most alarms people is that Africa knows that China wouldn’t be in Africa if it didn’t stand to benefit them in some way Chinese companies are there Chinese cultural centers are there, Chinese manufacturing is there and so people know that China is there because of an economic opportunity The problem is that in a place where it’s possible for militant terrorists can get away with violent crimes, people are worried that their governments couldn’t protect them if China did become imperialistic. Others are concerned that in a continent where many officials accept bribes that their governments could end up in China pocket
Africa knows that China benefits from their interactions and business dealings, but Africa is forced to worry about whether or not China has Africa best interests at heart


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