tv Inside Story LINKTV November 22, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PST
♪ host: time for a checkup top stories, hundreds of refugees and migrants in poland trying to cross into eu territory. some people are receiving medical treatment in the hospital. nato's secretary-general says -- are caught up in the crisis. >> the situation at the border with poland and also let you is deeply concerning. the regime of lukashenko using
people to pressure is cynical and humane. nato stands in full solidarity with all affected allies. we remain vigilant and stand ready to further help our allies. host: a jury has found kyle rittenhouse not guilty of murdering toes clement, and injuring another. he opened fire during black lives matter protests in kenosha, wisconsin last year. seven people have been injured and dozens are arrested in what is being described as chaos in rotterdam. restrictions in the netherlands have been reimposed to commit a wave of new covid 19 infections. austria is the next country to impose a lockdown and make vaccination against the virus compulsory. u.s. president joe biden's 1.57 -- $1.75 trillion spending bill
-- the united states has condemned the detention of yemeni staff. secretary of state antony blinken says dozens have been detained in this region because they work for the u.s. in a caretaker capacity. emergency crews are trying to reach people still stranded in british columbia days after floods and mudslides destroyed roads, houses, and bridges. those were the headlines and they continue after inside story. stay tuned. ♪
>> the continent must perform, that is the message from america's top diplomat to african leaders. antony blinken has been visiting ahead of a summit in washington. has it worked? this is inside story. ♪ host: hello and welcome to the program. u.s. secretary of state antony blinken as been visiting several african countries, part of the biden administration's push to increase cooperation and strengthen relations. blinken has sought to assure leaders this one will treat africa as an equal partner is
not clear how much influence washington hopes to have their. american pressure on sudan and ethiopia's leaders to end conflict has produced few results, and the u.s. has promised economic investment and fight against -- help in the fight against covid-19 and climate change. can it compete with china, which wields huge influence across africa? >> the united states was to strengthen our relationships across africa. to support the interests of your future, our future. the united states knows on most emerging challenges and opportunities we face africa will make the difference. we cannot achieve our goals around the world, whether that is ending the covid-19 pandemic, building a strong and inclusive
global economy, combating the climate crisis or defending democracy and human rights without the leadership of african governments, institutions, and citizens. ♪ host: let's bring in our guests. in nairobi, associate fellow of the international institute for strategic studies. in washington d.c., professor of international service. and editor in chief of nigeria's daily newspaper. is there any sense in africa that this u.s. administration is determined and genuine about the need to build bridges with the african continent? >> they are trying to, but it
has not sunk in. it is get to be seen. secretary blinken took almost a year before coming to africa. this trip was long overdue. they are not the priority. it shows an indication that the biden administration might be different from trump. host: william, is the u.s. willing to reboot its african policy? guest: i would call it a recalibration. some of the grant teams are continuing through emphasis on
trading, old-fashioned aid and another number of reorganizations. the main problem in the trump administration was contempt and difference, not only in the rhetoric but in the number of approaches. the reset as to be more in terms of rhetoric and joan -- tone. there is the new deal with nigeria, a lot of pandemic related [indiscernible] one of the themes of this trip was democracy. there are a number of add-ons and adjustments to be acknowledged. host: at the same time antony blinken spoke in abuja about the need for democratic reforms and the african continent, and that is particularly about the western part of the african
continent where we have been having many issues. how is that being seen by the nigerians? guest: the reaction especially of top governmental officials, they were excited by the visit. the idea of a mechanic reform, having democracy conferred on the continent generally is that it cannot be done without taking into consideration the material nation of most african nationstates. what is happening in most
african nationstates, the social and economic condition of nationstates where because democracy has failed to deliver the expected relief, it is difficult, is better than dictatorship. democracy has more to deliver. it is important. beyond mounting democratic reforms, a country like america should be more involved. host: the idea of involvement,
is it fair to say at this particular stage that ethiopia, which is in the midst of a civil, thousands of people were killed, or to one million people are on the verge of famine summit is likely to top the agenda of the administration in the coming months? >> they have already taken a large chunk of american thinking . part of this was to discuss what is going on in ethiopia, which is a big disappointment to the other african regions and the african continent. it turned out to be so
disastrous in the present, and the issue is the worst disaster could have been avoided. it could have been avoided. one of the suggestions that comes to mind is the united states may help to bring all of the parties together. that is the bottom line. the issue in ethiopia is federalism, and they are fighting over that. if blinken and the biden administration convince various combatants that they need to
engage in this matter it will be useful. host: that is yet to be seen. william, ethiopia is a case where many are waiting to see whether they are able to leverage their political influence of the region and bring about a political solution to the crisis. that is not happening anytime soon. do you think the americans will have to bring the case of genocide declaration to overrule the party's particular prime minister? guest: i do not think genocide designations in and of themselves are good instruments. it usually raises more questions than answers questions, but it is the case that there are war crimes and human rights atrocities happening, which are very grave and need to be addressed, and one of the
frustrations of the united states, do african lives matter? what will the u.n. take conditions more seriously -- when will the you and take conditions more seriously? there has not been enough concerted action. if we look toward the example of the case of libya, the u.s. was very successful in 2021 to get the you and to suppress a series of security resolutions and led to historic peacemaking coming up in the elections. the u.s. is working to convince the russians and the chinese to join on to make peace. ultimately it will be u.s. involvement.
blinken's trip is all about democracy and growth and climate change. as the u.s. helped broker the deal in 2019 it needs to help broker another deal. host: one of the reasons antony blinken spoke about democracy in africa was alluding to the western part of africa is that we have coups like places in chad, molly -- mali, burkina faso. the hope was west africa was willing to build upon the movement started decades ago. could that work anytime in the near future? >> like i mentioned earlier some of the democracy witnessed in
western nationstates is part of the failure to deliver the promise of democracy. some of these democratic nationstates are not free from their former masters. if you look at west african countries, they see themselves as part of the stakeholders. the failure also on the part of those in democratic rule constantly shifting the goal post made them lose their appeal
[indiscernible] so i see that unless african leaders to medically elect constitutional provisions, unfortunately they have not. host: as the u.s. tries to rebuild its global reputation it faces fierce competition from the chinese. let's take a look at the chinese belt and rode inis -- raod -- road initiative that is caused so much -- in washington. data found in the first 17 years of this century china committed more than $800 billion to more
than 13,000 projects in 165 countries, but it came with an average 4.2% interest rate, far higher than other international options. in return china gets access to raw materials it needs to fuel its growth. what he donations now oh china more than 1/10 of their economic outlook. you have the chinese tapping and, committing financial support, and the perception among many africans is that the chinese by their investments are creating jobs in the african continent. >> it is true. the chinese are very smart about it. they started the situation and they were able to reach
understandings of various countries, what a country's needs and wants and what the chinese can provide and get. particularly the western powers, they simply get things wrong. the united states has a lot of problems in terms of imaging when it comes to democracy. [indiscernible] with the chinese did was to get into understandings and file appeals.
you want to road and they went something. you broker a deal and you give them whatever it is. when african countries get into conversations with western powers they usually do not deliver. the price is usually more expensive than it should be. there is an image problem of western powers. host: how could the u.s. move forward when it comes to the african continent? is it that americans talk the talk but never walk the walk? >> this is more of a perception that reality -- than reality. look at the vaccines, u.s. has delivered 50 million doses and there is been assistance when
the chinese but not on that scale. in terms of economic developing projects, there was a lot of corruption associated with these and predatory loans and other economic disadvantages. i agree with your panelist that you cannot have democracy without human development but i would also posit you cannot have human development without democratization of the economy. what blinken said in his speeches was very clear, the u.s. is not going to do anything with africa because china is doing things with africa. it is going to do things with africa because it was to move africa in the right direction. it has gotten done but more transparent transactions, better governance.
the amount of corruption and predatory learning -- loaning is quite astounding. host: when it comes to providing support for the african continent one of the issues is the covid-19 pandemic. americans are now asked to provide more assistance to the who to ensure that the vaccine is distributed africans get access to the vaccine. the chinese, russians, and indians are widely seen in africa as more active than americans. guest: like i said earlier, america is more involved in africa's economic growth. the intervention by america is
not seen in many quarters as enough. why? they say you give a man a fish you give him food for a day, but teacher a man to fish -- teach a man to fish. open markets to african products , given more access to bilateral relations, not just one way. yes, america might've intervened by providing vaccine and so on and so forth, it is not enough,
especially given the goodwill america enjoys. that is not translated into materials. host: i see your point. you were talking about the need for that potential to be translated into practical achievements on the ground. the trump administration is issuing all of those statements about the african continent. do you think that when you have those gaps it would be easy for the u.s. to bring about peace and stability to a place like africa where you have ethiopia, sudan, and somalia on the verge of more violence? guest: i think it is good that
the biden administration is trying to reset in a positive way but the first thing it has to do is regain credibility, which it lost. people have memories of what is the united states has said or done, and that convinced some of us you have changed dramatically . [indiscernible] that is being translated into action on the ground.
when you go around appearing to give orders to african countries, then something goes wrong, there is an assumption of superiority. people say who are you? respect and credibility. host: this explains why biden and his first address to the african people was talking about diplomacy and dignity. the u.s. has been fixated for decades on places like the u.s. -- the middle east and afghanistan. africa is basically working hard to try to contain groups not only in the sub-saharan region, but in different parts of the african continent. could this become the new
battleground against radical groups? >> it is not coming to battleground against radical groups because the u.s. wanted to. it is because they are doing so well in the horn of africa so this will be a major priority of the u.s. going forward. even though the chinese are investing a lot, they are not involved geo strategically in the african continent and they are wanting the u.s. to play a greater role. the chinese have been producing imports from africa because of that and getting hydrocarbon or from our on -- iran and situation. their program is geo, not geostrategic, so the u.s. should not only do a lot more as your other guests and economically but they need to do more in
terms of cooperating with partnerships in africa on the security side, and that includes economic. we laid out a map that was very economic and security oriented, and the security pieces were largely done and the economic pieces were not. a comprehensive strategy that deals with the economic roots of conflict is the way to go about this. it will not be coming from china. it needs to come from the african countries themselves. host: i really appreciate your insight. i think you too for watching. you can see the program again anytime by visiting our website al jazeera.com. for more discussion go to our facebook page. you can also join the discussion