Foreign ministers from G20 states to convene for summit in Japan

G20 foreign ministers will today begin a two-day meeting in Nagoya, Japan, to discuss a broad range of bilateral and

g2 foreign ministers

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

G20 foreign ministers will today begin a two-day meeting in Nagoya, Japan, to discuss a broad range of bilateral and multilateral political and economic issues.

Both the US and China are looking to make infrastructure development inroads into Africa. As rural migrants flow into urban areas at unprecedented rates, the continent’s need for new highways, railroads and cities is greater than ever before. African governments have turned to external sources of funding, namely China, to meet these needs. In 2009, China became Africa’s largest trading partner. Over 10,000 Chinese owned firms currently operate on the continent, and trade between two has grown at a rate of about 20% year-on-year, topping $200 billion annually.

Increased Chinese investment in Africa—and future US-China competition over these growing markets—may lead to a worsening of economic relations between the two largest economies. However this result may economically benefit African nations seeking to improve infrastructure in urban areas in the medium to long term.

Politically, a scramble to invest in Africa will also increase the political and diplomatic influence of the investing country in national and regional African politics. This is likely to lead to increased clout for non-African powers in continental politics.

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