Hi, I’m Ivo Daalder, president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This is #AskIvo, a series where you get to ask me questions about global issues of concern to you. The question today comes from Apoorva Shetty. She asks, “What is your view on China’s extensive investment in Africa? Debt trap or road to revolution?” That’s a great question. China in recent years has become a country that has tried to reach all parts of the world. Not just in Africa, but Europe, Asia, Latin America. It is a big economy and a big power that is trying to influence parts of the world it used to ignore for many many years — and that includes Africa. There are many resources in Africa that the Chinese would like to exploit and they would like to see more economic development in Africa to ensure there are future markets in a growing continent. At the same time, China has the money it can lend to other countries to try to improve their infrastructure and to build the economies of the future. But China is not just doing this to help the people of Africa. It’s fundamentally doing this to help China. And indeed, the degree to which African countries become dependent on Chinese money, Chinese labor, Chinese production capabilities makes it more difficult for Africa to develop in the free and open way it needs to. The United States and Europe have a fundamental interest in Africa developing into a prosperous continent for a growing population. The United States and the Europeans should invest more in Africa to be a competitor to China, and to be part of the continents development. The future of the continent depends on its ability to grow economically, so it can provide for a growing the population. That is not only in Africa’s interest. It’s in Europe’s interest. It’s in the United States interest. Indeed, it is even in China’s interest. Thanks for tuning in. Want to ask me a question, shoot me a tweet with the hashtag #AskIvo.