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The New Scramble for Africa | Empire

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Published on Jul 27, 2014

Decades after the European powers carved up the African continent for their own imperial needs, Africa is undergoing a new wave of resource and strategic exploitation – some are calling it the new scramble for Africa.

The United States is increasing its footprint across Africa with AFRICOM, fighting terrorism and ensuring stability are the trumpeted motivations. Resource security is a more hushed objective.

But it is not just about the US.

During the last decade, China's trade with Africa not only caught up with America's, it has more than doubled it.

The new battle for Africa does not deploy strong-arm tactics, it is now a soft power game: economic and humanitarian aid, interest-free loans, preferential trade agreements and investments in infrastructure are currency across a continent that is, for the world's established and emerging powers, seemingly up for grabs.

India, Brazil and Russia are all invested in Africa's present and future, and old imperial powers like France are fixing to retain their loosening grip on the riches of former colonies.

So what does all this mean for Africa and Africans?

Empire travels to Kenya to examine the continent at the centre of the world as it is courted, cajoled and carved up by global powers to its East and West.

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