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[AUDIO] What Should the U.S. Do to More Effectively Compete With China in Africa?

In this special edition of the China in Africa podcast, Eric & Cobus join Judd Devermont, Africa Director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Yun Sun, a Non-Resident Fellow at The Brookings Institution, to discuss the future of U.S. foreign policy in Africa and how Washington can more effectively compete with China’s growing influence on the continent.

“The United States has slipped into the habit of criticizing China for what it is doing and wagging its fingers at African countries for being led astray by China. This is not a winning strategy.” — Judd Devermont, Center for Strategic and International Studies

This week’s show was recorded at the CSIS studio in Washington and is a joint production with the Into Africa podcast, hosted by Judd and produced by CSIS. Click here to listen to the Into Africa edition of the program which contains an extended interview with Cobus on current issues in South African politics.


Judd Devermont
Judd Devermont is the director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Prior to joining CSIS, he served as the national intelligence officer for Africa from 2015 to 2018. In this position, he led the U.S. intelligence community’s analytic efforts on sub-Saharan African issues and served as the DNI’s personal representative at interagency policy meetings. From 2013 to 2015, he was the Central Intelligence Agency’s senior political analyst on sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Devermont also served as the National Security Council director for Somalia, Nigeria, the Sahel, and the African Union from 2011 to 2013. In this role, he contributed to the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, signed by President Obama in 2012, and managed the process that resulted in U.S. recognition of the Somali government for the first time since 1991. Mr. Devermont spent two years abroad working at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria from 2008 to 2010.
Yun Sun

Yun Sun is a nonresident fellow with the Africa Growth Initiative. She also serves as co-director of the East Asia Program, and director of the China Program at the Stimson Center. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, and China’s relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes.
From 2011 to early 2014, she was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, appointed by the Foreign Policy Program and the Global Economy and Development Program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. From 2008 to 2011, Yun Sun was the China Analyst for the International Crisis Group (ICG) based in Beijing, specializing on China’s policy towards conflict countries and the developing world. Prior to ICG, she worked on U.S.-Asia relations in Washington, D.C. Her work is regularly cited by Voice of America, Axios, and other prominent news outlets and publications.

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