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Africa’s Muted Response to Wang Yi’s Tour

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi greeted in Asmara by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed.

Despite the importance of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Kenya, Eritrea and the Comoros this week, African media coverage of the tour remains surprisingly scant. In the week after his visit was announced, very little has come from these countries in terms of agenda-setting, and there has also been little reaction on social media. 

In the case of Eritrea and the Comoros, language barriers and media constraints are partly to blame. Eritrean coverage is mostly in Arabic and the dominant language Tigrinya. More serious is the country’s extremely restrictive media environment, where draconian censorship limits the media’s scope and reach within and beyond its borders. It remains very difficult to know what’s happening in Eritrea at the best of times. We may have to rely on Wang Yi’s media team for information about his meetings in the country.

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