Are African Leaders Choosing China Over The UN?

There’s no immediately obvious reason to choose between the UN and China, yet, a simple analysis could be a strong indication of a growing shift in the allegiance of African countries from the 73-year-old organisation to the Asian power.

It’s all in the math. Records show that 27 African leaders were in attendance at the recently-held 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. When viewed in isolation, this is not a big deal. After all, world leaders are allowed to send representatives to the General Assembly and many could have been absent for a variety of important reasons.

But a curious picture begins to form when you compare 27 with 51 — the number of African leaders present at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which held in Beijing last month.

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While it is true that FOCAC’s three-year cycle could make its attendance a more pressing need than being at the annual UNGA, it is impossible to shake the feeling that with Chinese leaders’ frequent visits to Africa, growing investments and a recent $60 billion development pledge, priorities may be evolving rapidly on the continent.

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