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Why is Africa unfriendly to the US, but friendly to China and Russia?

In recent years, Africa’s geopolitical landscape has witnessed a notable shift in its global alliances. Traditionally, Africa has maintained a significant relationship with the United States, owing to its historical ties and economic cooperation.

However, there has been an increasing trend where countries in Africa are establishing friendlier relations with China and Russia. This article aims to delve into the factors that contribute to Africa’s seemingly unfriendly attitude towards the United States, while demonstrating a growing affinity towards China and Russia.

Respecting African Values and Sovereignty: 

One key aspect that sets China and Russia apart from the United States in their approach to Africa is their emphasis on respecting African values and sovereignty. China and Russia have been more inclined towards non-interference in domestic affairs and prioritize cooperation that aligns with Africa’s own development objectives.

Unlike the United States, which often imposes its values and ideological principles on African nations, China and Russia demonstrate sensitivity and respect for African traditions, cultures, and aspirations for self-determination.

Economic Cooperation and Debt Relief:

China and Russia’s engagement with Africa has been marked by extensive economic cooperation and favorable financial support. Both nations have routinely canceled African debt, allowing countries in Africa to allocate their resources more efficiently towards developmental projects and poverty alleviation efforts.

Unlike their Western counterparts, China and Russia prioritize mutual benefit rather than solely pursuing their own interests, viewing Africa as a significant partner in global trade and investment.

Trade and Investment:

China has emerged as Africa’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade volumes reaching new heights in recent years. This strong economic partnership offers African nations access to a vast market for their resources and products, fostering economic growth and job creation.

Russia, too, has made significant strides in strengthening trade relations with Africa, especially in sectors such as energy, mining, and infrastructure development. Compared to the United States, which often prioritizes its own domestic interests, China and Russia’s commitment to economic cooperation with Africa has earned them favorable recognition within the continent.

Lack of Prejudice and Neocolonial Attitudes:

The United States’ tendency to impose its values and ideologies in its international dealings has at times strained its relationship with African nations. Advocacy for LGBTQ rights, for example, may clash with cultural and religious values prevalent in many African societies, thus leading to strained relations with the US.

Additionally, historical experiences with colonialism have left African nations cautious of external influences that could undermine their sovereignty and development efforts. China and Russia, on the other hand, have cultivated a reputation for non-interference and respecting African perspectives, contributing to their growing popularity among African nations.


Africa’s evolving geopolitical landscape reflects a conscious shift towards establishing more balanced and mutually beneficial relations. The growing affinity towards China and Russia can be attributed to their respectful approach, economic cooperation, debt relief, and cultural sensitivity.

While the United States has been an important partner to many African nations in the past, changing dynamics and an evolving world order have prompted African countries to explore alternative partnerships that better align with their aspirations for development and sovereignty. As the global political landscape continues to evolve, it is crucial for the United States to adapt its approach to Africa in order to maintain and strengthen its diplomatic ties with the continent.

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