Ludger Kühnhardt, Professor of Political Science, University of Bonn, and Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center
The relationship of Africa with the rest of the world is undergoing a fascinating transformation. While more than ever, economists point to the potential of Africa's development, the strategic community is often reducing its focus on the rising role of China and other emerging powers in the extraction of natural resources on the African continent.
In reality, the world is not facing a new scramble for Africa but rather the scramble with a new Africa. More than ever, Africa itself is defining the parameters of its own future. External players are actively pursuing their own interests in Africa while trying to form partnerships with the continent that has so far been the least affected by globalization.
Public Policy Scholar Ludger Kühnhardt is currently studying the interplay of African strategies for the future of Africa with the African strategies of external actors, notably the US, the European Union, China, India and the Arab world. He argues that while the approaches of African and non-African players often focus on different priorities, methods and objectives, it has become a test-case for smart multilateralism to find as much common ground as possible between the different approaches and strategies concerning Africa and its future. Ludger Kühnhardt, Professor of Political Science, is on sabbatical leave from the University of Bonn, Germany, where he directs the Center for European Integration Studies ZEI. His home institution is looking a great deal into issues of comparative regionalism with a current focus on Africa. In this Wilson Center workshop he will report about his work-in- progress.