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Africa in 2022: US and China battle over 5G, vaccines, cobalt and ports

By Julian Pecquet, Nicholas Norbrook
Posted on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 11:51

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks virtually with Chinese leader Xi Jinping from the White House in Washington, U.S. November 15, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Africa’s global status will continue to rise next year as its rival suitors work overtime to fix recent missteps. At stake: control over global technology choices and the minerals that will power the next 'blue economy' revolution. Can Africa avoid a new cold war?

Eager to move beyond past expressions of disdain for so-called ‘shithole countries’, the United States is set to unveil a new engagement strategy in early 2022. Meanwhile, China is intent on shedding its reputation for ensnaring its victims in costly ‘debt traps’.

The evolving rivalry was on display last month as Washington and Beijing descended on the continent within days of each other.