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Washington's stance towards Africa has been as chaotic as the Trump administration and with China and Russia continuing to strengthen their ties with the continent, the stakes are dangerously high.

Legalbrief reports that four months have passed since Washington unveiled its new Africa strategy, urging business leaders to ramp up partnerships and trade with US companies which offer 'unrivalled value'.

Prosper Africa, the new effort aims to shift American focus from aid to industry. The $50m programme is expected to offer technical help to companies looking to enter or grow in Africa, which is urbanising faster than any other continent and is expected to have 1.5bn consumers by 2025. That's five times the size of the US.

This is not lost on Russia. More than 40 African heads of state have returned from the Black Sea retreat of Sochi after a fervent courting by Russia and with the ink drying on some substantial deals.

Ethiopia and Rwanda have sealed nuclear co-operation agreements to bring the number of African countries keen on nuclear development to 18. SA is not among them.

The Daily Maverick reports that African sovereignty, independence and a disdain for bullish western politics was the charm President Vladimir Putin laid on thick. Analysts say the Kremlin claims that it has racked up $12.5bn in deals over the two-day Russia-Africa summit. But it remains to be seen whether they actually materialise as real investments. The symbolically laden event to bolster co-operation and trade comes as sanctions against Russia persist.

Legalbrief reports that more than a century after the initial Scramble for Africa saw the invasion, occupation, division and colonisation of the continent, relationships remain testy.

Case-in-point: Harare has condemned the US' decision to place sanctions on State Security Minister Owen Ncube over his alleged involvement in rights violations. The US State Department on Friday announced that it had credible information on Ncube's role in 'state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters and civil society' . BBC News reports that Information Minister Nick Mangwana said the sanctions were 'a form of arbitrary justice'. 'The US brands itself a fair country but everything we have seen regarding the sanctions issue has been nothing but obstinate arrogance,' he said.


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