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Those of us still deep in the Covid-19 trenches have observed over the last few months, in sheer amazement, how China has roared back. From shuttered factories and ghost industrial towns just more than a year ago, the world’s second-biggest economy and largest global supplier is projected to grow 8.1% in 2021 due to strong exports and a gradual recovery in household consumption. GDP growth in 2022 is projected to be 5.5%, according to the Asian Development Bank.

China is clearly back with more than just a bang, and with its re-emergence goes — or so one would imagine — the aspirations of anyone who thought to use the pandemic as a launch pad to supplant the Asian nation as the world’s main source of production. Yet despite China’s stunning turnabout, the pandemic provides Africa with an opportunity to become the world’s alternate supply chain...

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