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Thursday, July 31, 2014
Indonesia has elected Jakarta governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as its new president. He joins the ranks of new Asian leaders such as Prime Ministers Narendra Modi of India and Shinzo Abe of Japan and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who with their nationalist yet outward looking growth-oriented agendas and rapid decision making are striving to redefine Asian power and identity. These countries and their new leadership could well put Asia into the driver’s seat. Not only do they represent more than one-third of the world’s population, they are also a group of fast growing economies.
A C-130 U.S. Air Force plane lands as Nigerien soldiers stand in formation during the Flintlock military exercise in Diffa, March 8, 2014 (Reuters / Joe Penney)
Both China and the US are trying to broaden and deepen their influence in Africa, with China dominating the continent economically, whereas the US is more pro-active militarily, Asia Times journalist Brendan O'Reilly told RT.
RT:What does the US hope to achieve with the upcoming summit?
Brendan O'Reilly: Essentially the US is trying to broaden and deepen its influence in Africa right now. The US has many interests in Africa, especially economic, and what we see a lot now is politics and military. Right now the US troops are in a broad swath of the African nations from Mali in the west all the way through to the Central African Republic, Ethiopia into Somalia, and there is a major US military base in Djibouti now, and since 2008 the US has established the US Africa Command to coordinate military activities in Africa.RT: What are the key factors that attract foreign investors to Africa?