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China has more positive influence than US, young Africans say | Updated: 2022-06-14 06:35
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A passenger takes the Standard Gauge Railway passenger train in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, May 23, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China has surpassed the United States when it comes to having the biggest positive influence in Africa by young people, Bloomberg reported, citing a survey released on Monday.

According to the survey of 4,507 young Africans from 15 countries conducted by the Itchkowitz Family Foundation, which is based in South Africa, 76 percent of respondents saw China as a foreign country that has a positive impact on their lives, while the figure for the US was 72 percent.

When the foundation first surveyed 18-to-24-year-olds in Africa in 2020, 83 percent of respondents saw the US' influence as positive compared with 79 percent of China.

Over the past two decades, China has funded infrastructure in Africa and provided the continent with affordable consumer goods such as mobile phones, solar panels and shovels.

"We see China having climbed to pole position, we see a recognition of the fact that China is engaging in Africa at a time when very few others are," Ivor Ichikowitz, chairman of the foundation, said in an interview in Johannesburg.

In Africa, the US has played a very limited role, and it actually played an embarrassingly insignificant role in terms of actual investment, trade, and building of infrastructure, he added.

"Overall, we are seeing a much more positive approach to China, that's going to drive a lot more engagement with China," Ichikowitz said.

Positive view toward China was strongest in Rwanda, Malawi and Nigeria. By 2030, young Africans are expected to make up 42 percent of the world's youth.

According to the survey, the US has now lagged behind the United Kingdom and the European Union as well in terms of perceived positive influence.

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