• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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US loses top spot as China, Russia gain ground in Africa


The United States in 2023 saw a decline in its approval ratings in Africa, according to a new Gallup report.

The median approval rating for the US decreased from 59% to 56%, while China’s approval increased from 52% in 2022 to 58%, surpassing the US by two points, the report noted.

According to Gallup, Germany’s approval rating also rose slightly. Russia’s popularity in Africa also increased in 2023, contrasting with the global perspective on Putin leadership.

China achieved its highest leadership approval rating in Africa in a decade, with significant increases in several West African countries. This shift in approval corresponded with a decrease in the number of people without an opinion on China’s leadership.

China’s growing influence and investment in Africa, particularly through the Belt and Road Initiative, have contributed to its rising approval ratings, the report noted.

The US experienced both increases and decreases in approval across different African countries, with notable declines in Uganda, Gambia, and Kenya.

“Although median approval of the U.S. dipped by three points across Africa last year, Washington saw double-digit increases in approval ratings across seven countries — Ghana (+14 points), Mauritania, Cote d’Ivoire (+13 points each), Tunisia (+12 points), Mozambique (+11 points), Senegal and Ethiopia (+10 points each) — overlapping the approval gains China experienced.

“Despite these increases, U.S. approval ratings fell sharply elsewhere — in Uganda (-29 points), Gambia (-21 points) and Kenya (-14 points). Of these three, only ally Kenya maintained majority approval. Ratings of U.S. leadership were lowest in Libya (23%) and Somalia (25%),” Gallup stated.

The US has generally maintained higher approval ratings than China since 2007, with comparable ratings between 2016 and 2019. However, in 2023, China moved ahead of the U.S.

Russia’s approval rating in Africa has also improved, recovering from the decline following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Median approval for Russian leadership increased to 42%, with the highest support in Sahel countries where Russia has a military presence.

“Russia has seen double-digit increases in eight countries and equivalent decreases in just two: Uganda (-16 points) and Gambia (-11 points). But support remains strongest in countries in the Sahel, where Russia has a significant military presence through its mercenary Wagner Group, including Mali (89%), Burkina Faso (81%) and Chad (76%). In these three countries, Russia is the dominant power in terms of leadership approval ratings,” the report noted.

The focus of global powers on Africa has intensified, with the US, China, Russia and Germany closely competing in approval ratings across the continent.