China Viewed as Most Influential Global Power in Africa

China is now viewed as the most influential global power in Africa, having surpassed the United States, according to a new survey.

The Gallup survey found that median approval ratings of the U.S. slipped from 59 percent in 2022 to 56 percent in 2023, while China rose from 52 percent to 58 percent in that same period.

The survey asked people in 36 African countries about four global superpowers: the U.S., China, Russia and Germany. The U.S. was the only one that didn’t see its approval increase.

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The highest approval rating of the U.S. in Africa was held in 2009, when 85 percent of Africans approved of the country’s leadership. It dipped to its lowest point, 51 percent, in 2017.

China’s highest approval rating was at 72 percent in 2011 but has hovered around 50 percent in recent years until it jumped 6 percentage points last year. The largest increase in approval came from Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal, the survey found.

Gallup noted that China’s improved rating may come from its increased investment on the continent. It’s now Africa’s biggest trading partner.

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The U.S. saw some of its biggest approval increases from Ghana and Ivory Coast as well, but saw major decreases in Gambia, Uganda and Kenya.

The survey also found that Germany’s leadership image sits at 54 percent, and Russia’s is at 42 percent after dipping to 34 percent in 2022 following its invasion of Ukraine.

The 2023 approval ratings survey was conducted among people 15 years or older in more than 130 countries around the world. The margin of error ranges from 1.2 to 5.6 percentage points, Gallup said.

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