Africa has become a pivot continent. Between 2000 and 2010, its real gross domestic product grew 4.7% per year, and Africans now spend more on goods and services than a similarly sized population of Indians. Foreign direct investment in Africa has grown more than fivefold since 2000.
For years, cash-strapped African states had to turn almost exclusively to the IMF, World Bank and Western governments for financial help. They accepted Western aid with deep reluctance in many cases, because it often came with demands for democratic reforms and greater openness to Western investment. But in 2010 alone, China’s trade with Africa expanded by more than 43%, according to official Chinese trade data, and it replaced the U.S. as Africa’s largest trade partner.
Africa can now expect multinational and state-owned companies from developed and developing states to compete for access to African consumers and favorable investment terms. This isn’t a story of the West losing out to China, because both will continue to profit in Africa. The winners here are all the newly resilient African governments.
(via Ian Bremmer on Pivot States - WSJ.com)