Reuters discusses China’s cultural outreach to Africa:
While China’s economic influence is now mighty and its cheap goods can be bought everywhere from Lagos to tiny tribal villages in remotest Ethiopia, Africans, especially young ones, still admire and try to copy U.S. culture.
Middle class teenagers in Nairobi dress like suburban kids from Atlanta, posters of Obama adorn minibus windows in Kinshasa, American hip-hop is everywhere.
China now seems to have realised this.
Here in Addis Ababa this week China and Ethiopia signed an agreement to work on a “cultural exchange program” from 2010 to 2013. Ethiopia’s state news agency said the countries will dispatch “art troupes, artists, writers and art exhibitions” to each other. It will be interesting to see how mutual the traffic is.
Sean Brooks explores relations between Egypt and Sudan.
Over at Foreign Policy, Kayzan Farzan says politicians are backing away from a proposed anti-gay law in Uganda. “Friction over the bill,” Farzan writes, “has led to a proxy battle over the U.S.’ cultural influence in the region.”
Kal looks at dialogues between Islamic scholars and Salafists in Mauritania. At Al Jazeera, Mohamed Vall addresses the same topic.
Chris Blattman passes on some “undiplomatic” remarks on the UN from James O.C. Jonah, former Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs under Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Louisa Lombard analyzes an encounter between an American gold mining company and the government of the Central African Republic.
Texas in Africa fills us in on Africa’s efforts in the Haiti crisis.
And here’s a blog I just came across: Roving Bandit, on South Sudan.
What are you reading?