BNN - Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 05:00 p.m. (ET) - Segment #3

>> This is "balance of power" on bloomberg tv and radio. President biden is hosting kenyan president william brito -- william ruto this week. The white house tries to -- bloomberg has more from the white house. >> President biden invited executives from the U.S. and kenyan based companies to the white house and that includes the cfo of google's parent company, alphabet. This is part of a broader push for more strategic investment in kenya. President biden address this moments ago. Highlighting a renewed membership. Pres. Biden: we are launching a new era of technology between kenya and america, including new exchanges in investments in key fields of cybersecurity, ai and semiconductors. >> It is a welcomed sentiment for kenyan president william ruto who also visited capitol hill and met with house speaker mike johnson where he told him economic issues would be a key part of this visit. >> The economy is a big space. We will be discussing how we can build on investment, trade, business. >> This is part of a broader backdrop of competition throughout -- joe m.: it looks like -- >> Direct investment on the continent since 2013. The same year beijing -- joe m.: thank you. We had a little trouble with her line from the white house. We appreciate the reporting on an important state visit. The conversation we now extend with shirley martey hargis, senior china policy fellow. It truly is great to see you at the table. I thought you were talking about kenya, our audience as, why do we have a china expert? Would this be happening today if not for china's influence on the global south? Shirley: I was at the welcoming ceremony for the president trump kenya this morning and I think -- africa recognizes that china -- rather china recognizes that africa is the foundation for our semi conductor industry, globally. China recognizes that supply chains are coming to the continent. China recognizes that the anchor for energy transition is also on the continent. Much to your point, joe, when you said that, is this part of the reason why? I would say yes. Kailey: you just said china recognizes all of these things. You see dollars behind those things with belt and road, there were some great graphics showing investment into not just kenya but the african continent as a whole, far exceeds investment from the U.S. does the U.S. recognize the same things to the extent that it needs to? Shirley: what I think is fascinating about the biden administration is it is clearly trying to reinstall trust with the african continent. However, there has been so many years of the checkered past, checkered investment from the U.S. on the continent. In the u.s., we have, what, millions of africans here in this country? My parents immigrated here decades ago. We are from ghana. I was born and raised here. There are so many africans here that are contributing to this economy and filling in the shortages of the health-care industry and the transportation industry, so many stem related africans who come here, the continent is not waiting, but china and russia, for better or worse, do recognize africa's geopolitical heft. The u.s.? That is to be determined. [laughter] joe: when we look at belt and road and investments made in a country like kenya, millions invested but a country left deep in debt because of it. That is partly why they are turning to the u.s., with our invitation in this case. Is belt and road a failure in africa? Shirley: I think the earlier african countries that were at -- that china started with with

this belt and road initiative, including kenya, especially kenya is one of the first countries to really push against china. Right now, though, china is now sharpshooting a bit. The are looking at the ict areas in africa. You have a youthful entrepreneurial spirit. Most of the world will be african in a few years. 90 million african households will come into the consumer area in 2025. China knows with its challenges they have to be strategic. They are looking specifically at targeting the cit look -- ict locations in africa. They are not just throwing money at the continent anymore. We have to have a presence there because american businesses can benefit significantly. It can be a win-win situation. Kailey: it is so interesting to hear you talk about strategic competition and at sign is recognizing all of these different strategic threats or opportunities. The U.S. talks a lot about strategic competition with china. We have a whole house committee dedicated to it. A lot of that focuses with our relationship with china, imports and exports, restrictions on what can go into china. Does it focus enough strategically on everywhere else, that china is having influence that we should also be factoring into our policies? Shirley: this is I suppose where the china stuff comes in and why I am here. A lot of folks will say china's government model is very rigid, and it is. However, they are willing to try things. They are in kenya, many countries in the african continent. They are in the arctic. They are all over the world. They are willing to try things where we tend to think in a binary way. For example, now we have the kenyan president here. There are so many countries waiting for our president to go to the continent. For better or worse, he is good at meeting with nation leaders. It is historical what we are doing right now with president ruto. However, china -- we tend to focus a lot on china. The strategic benefit is they are able to find opportunities all over where we are a bit more risk adverse, and understandably so. Even african countries are not perfect either. It is as though -- not as though -- I will say we tend to tell a lot of countries, african countries, especially, we are telling you what you want, where china is good at seeing, "what do you want?" that is not always a good question to ask. There are a lot of pros and cons. This is what you get with the U.S. and china. Joe: much has been said on this visit about a progress -- a promise unkempt by this president. He is the first democratic president to not visit the continent since lyndon johnson -- a fact that jumped off the page for me this morning. Today he made reference he would like to go if he is reelected, he might go shortly after the reelection. What would president xi make of that? Shirley: president xi would do what he often does, which is remind many of these places that the U.S. has not been consistent with the wall but we have shown up. We have multiple summits with you all, we always show up. I think -- it seems like a big hill. It seems like it is too late for us -- it is not. However, if we say we are going to go to africa, we have to go. Like you said, lyndon johnson, that is a long time. Just building the consistency. It is great that antony blinken and vice president harris are going to the continent but state leaders need to see each other. It seems minor but it shows respect. Kailey: consistency is key and you have to keep the premises. Shirley martey hargis, thank you so much for joining us in our washington, D.C. studio. Coming up next, we will be joined by our political panel to discuss the latest bloomberg paul and how the numbers are looking for joe biden and donald trump. This is "balance of power" ( )Vertical farmingis on the rise. As agriculture evolves,we're harvesting value in ai. Go beyond the obviouswith a global perspective.

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