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Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen

Reuters

President Tsai Ing-wen visits last African state that recognizes Taiwan's independence

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is currently on a diplomatic visit to Eswatini, the country’s last remaining ally on the vast African continent. The southern African country is hardly a natural ally for democratic Taiwan: King Mswati III has ruled the landlocked country of 1.1 million with an iron fist since he assumed the throne in 1986 at age 18. It’s the region’s last absolute monarchy.

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GZERO Media

Viewpoint: Is China the only reason the US cares about Africa?

Heads of state and/or government from 49 African countries are currently breaking bread at the US-Africa Leaders Summit at the White House. It’s only the second such summit in history, the last one hosted by President Obama in 2014.

It’s no secret that many African nations have long felt jilted by Uncle Sam. But the Biden administration is trying to cast the conference as a reset in US relations with the world’s fastest-growing continent, announcing a $55 billion investment in Africa over the next three years and a presidential visit next year.

Still, some African experts are skeptical that Washington’s approach to Africa is really changing. To them, it can often seem that Washington is more focused on keeping Beijing – which in recent years has outpaced the US in foreign direct investment to Africa – away from the continent than on creating new opportunities for growth independent of China’s activities there.

To make sense of the Biden administration’s Africa policy, we had a chat with Amaka Anku, Eurasia Group’s lead Africa analyst.

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A hostess stands before the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal.

REUTERS/Cooper Inveen

Hard Numbers: China-Africa trade hits new high, record remittances to Central America, Barry Manilow vs protesters, Indian government vs Chinese apps

254 billion: Trade between Africa and China reached an all-time high of $254 billion in 2021, up more than a third from the previous year. But most of the increase came from a jump in Chinese exports, which continue to dwarf Africa’s exports to China.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Downing Street, London, Britain, January 4, 2022.

Jack Hill/Pool via REUTERS

What We’re Watching: BYOB Boris, Kim Jong Un’s new toys, China will lend less to Africa

“Bring your own booze.” It’s an old story: the damaging reveal that the political elite holds the public to a different standard than it holds its own leaders to. News emerged on Tuesday — courtesy of Dominic Cummings, the UK prime minister’s former political adviser turned bitter political foe — that Boris Johnson’s private secretary had invited more than 100 people to a "bring your own booze" party at the PM’s official residence… in the middle of a coronavirus lockdown in May 2020. Johnson and his wife have not denied they were there. To be clear, this is not the same party that his staff was caught on video laughing about during another lockdown over Christmas in 2020. Is the political ineptitude even more damaging than the hypocrisy? Either way, Johnson’s government is now in real trouble. The PM faces a parliamentary grilling on Wednesday, and may not survive a leadership challenge from within his Conservative Party later this year. At a time of bitterness over his handling of COVID and consumer pain from rising prices, this was not the story Britain’s prime minister needed.

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