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America’s Hollow Africa Policy

2 42 0
16.09.2021

In recent months, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria has embarked on a spree of opening “Windows on America,” U.S. cultural hubs in local communities across the country. The centers, similar to the United Kingdom’s British Council and France’s Alliance Française, offer educational and cultural programs designed to “promote U.S. higher education and highlight aspects of American culture” and “welcome youth and people from underserved communities to learn more about the United States.”

The unstated but no less important aim of the centers is to create cultural inroads with Nigerian youth to counter China’s influence—especially the influence it exerts through its Confucius Institutes.

The first Nigerian Windows on America center opened in March in Lekki, Lagos; since then, the U.S. Consulate General has established four other centers, mostly in universities. Meanwhile, China’s Confucius Institutes, created to promote Chinese language and culture, have been established at Nigerian universities for more than a decade. Chinese firms in Nigeria have recruited alumni from the institutes, further enhancing China’s socioeconomic standing. The institutes have also created a pathway for young Nigerians to go to China for studies on scholarships and to get jobs.

In recent months, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria has embarked on a spree of opening “Windows on America,” U.S. cultural hubs in local communities across the country. The centers, similar to the United Kingdom’s British Council and France’s Alliance Française, offer educational and cultural programs designed to “promote U.S. higher education and highlight aspects of American culture” and “welcome youth and people from underserved communities to learn more about the United States.”

The unstated but no less important aim of the centers is to create cultural inroads with Nigerian youth to counter China’s influence—especially the influence it exerts through its Confucius Institutes.

The first Nigerian Windows on America center opened in March in Lekki, Lagos; since then, the U.S. Consulate General has established four other centers, mostly in universities. Meanwhile, China’s Confucius Institutes, created to promote Chinese language and culture, have been established at Nigerian universities for more than a decade. Chinese firms in Nigeria have recruited alumni from the institutes, further enhancing China’s socioeconomic standing. The institutes have also created a pathway for young Nigerians to go to China for studies on scholarships and to get jobs.

Already, many young Nigerians travel to China for trade purposes, and a grassroots trade relationship has been established by which cheap goods from China are brought into the country. The “Made in China” tag has become a marker of cheap goods compared to more expensive U.S.-made items that most........

© Foreign Policy


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