Bill Gates, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft and one of the world’s richest men has cautioned the U.S. president Donald John Trump against damaging the country’s relations with Africa.
Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, Gates said the U.S. could lose Africa to China if Trump abandons Africa and soldiers on religiously with his “America First” position.
Sino-Africa relations continue to grow with increased Chinese investment across the continent. African leaders have also travelled to Beijing in furtherance of bilateral ties with the Asian giant.
“[In] the balance of hard power versus soft power, the US uniquely has a ratio emphasising hard power and I’d hate to see it go even further,” Gates said “You don’t want to give up your soft power tools,” he added.
Hard power is a military-minded and coercive approach to international relations whiles soft power is a persuasive approach to international relations usually involving use of economic and cultural approach.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continues its investments across the continent especially in the area of supporting healthcare initiatives and the fight against malaria – treatment and the development of vaccines.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) January 25, 2018
President Trump’s African policy remains elusive to most political watchers a years since he took office. Trump’s planned cut on the US contribution to global health budget by over $2 billion is seen as a move that will negatively affect the continent and other developing nations.
His most recent ‘clash’ with the continent is in relation to a report that he made denigrating comments about Africa and Haiti. Despite his denial, the continental body, slammed the comments and asked that he withdraws the now infamous ‘shithole countries’ jibe.
Governments across the continent demanded for U.S. envoys to explain Trump’s comments. Botswana, Nigeria and South Africa are examples. Senegal president Macky Sall and Ghana’s Akufo-Addo sent tweets remonstrating against the said comments.