Trudeau’s Trip to Africa is Important…but Not for The Reasons You Think.

Prime Minister Trudeau meets with Senegal President Macky Sall
Senegal’s President Macky Sall walks alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, upon arrival at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, on Feb. 12, 2020.

No doubt you’ve read stories in the Canadian press highlighting Prime Minister Trudeau’s trip through Africa. The immediate purpose is to advocate for Canada’s seat on the Security Council of the UN. This is admirable and I am happy to see Canada take on such a role internationally.

The news of his trip caught my eye though for a different reason. For years, China has been heavily investing in African countries. At the same time Chinese business has been offshoring much of the manufacturing and low wage work that we used to associate with their economy to African nations. However, a major handicap for African nations has traditionally been poor infrastructure to facilitate a robust industrial manufacturing sector. To offset this, China has been building major infrastructure projects themselves throughout the continent.

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