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China overtook the United States as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009, the same year when Obama started his first term as US president.The past years under Obama’s rule saw US trade with Africa decline.However, looking deeper at the presidency of President Barack Obama, a different picture emerges.Having 55 heads of state in one place and expecting to achieve tangible results in four days is slightly optimistic for a president who spent the best part of his two terms literally ignoring the continent.
Simply put, this summit lacks depth and that fact is obscured by the fact that there are 45 out of 55 African leaders attending it.
Obama, despite his African origin, has been a less frequent visitor to the land of his ancestors than Chinese leaders.
He made his first substantial visit to Africa only last year, while in the same year Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on a three-nation African tour merely one week after taking office.
President Mugabe has been quiet over this summit, but it is clear what his perception of it is.
It is rooted within the foreign policy of Zimbabwe and in the various speeches he has made at the United Nations.
The president has been very vocal about his vision for Africa, in line with the thinking of Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and other iconic African liberators.