Africa’s Future Will Shape Europe’s, And Europe Is Trailing China On The Continent

Written by Ann Brown

Some leaders in Europe think China’s influence in Africa has grown too big and they need to catch up.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicts Europe’s future success is tied to its success in Africa. Junker spoke at a joint European Union and Africa Union investment forum in Vienna.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz urged Europe to challenge China’s economic encroachment in Africa with a slate of European investments and involvement.

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Juncker encouraged European firms to increase investments in Africa and create a “partnership among equals.” One of the reasons for this strategy? Africa’s population is predicted to double to 2.5 billion by 2050.

“Africa’s future is also our (European) future,” said Juncker.

“Among EU nations, the highest surpluses in trade with Africa last year were accrued by Germany ($9.4 billion) and France ($6.3 billion),” DW reported. Compare this to the $128 billion worth of trade China has with Africa.

Kurz hosted the forum with the AU’s current chairman, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. An advocate of strict European rules on migration, Kurz declared at the forum: “We must not leave the African continent to China.”

President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker speak in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)


Besides catching up with China, migration is another reason why some European leaders want to boost their presence in Africa. Anti-immigrant enthusiasts want to slow the flow of Africans to Europe and they feel that one way to do it is by helping Africa “come up” economically.

“One solution for addressing this complexity could be to finally ensure Africa’s growth and development. Many blueprints are drafted, refreshing the development industry preferences, with the best of intentions. New jargon is introduced and a new universal framework is now available. If accepted it could flood the needy countries with new investments and opportunities; which in turn will go a long way to arrest the floods of increasingly young migrants looking for Lampedusa,” the European Centre for Development Policy reported. Lampedusa is an Italian island that has became a primary European entry point for immigrants from Africa.

Gunter Nooke, Germany’s Africa Commissioner, recently suggested that European countries should be permitted to lease land, build and run cities in Africa to stimulate economic development. His suggestion was described as a form of hipster colonialism.