From the South China Sea to the Middle East, the US is losing its status as an unrivalled superpower. In few places is this loss of influence so apparent as in Africa, where Beijing senses a strategic opportunity and where Washington is increasingly viewed as a fickle — even absentee — ally. If there is a mirror image of Donald Trump’s America First policy, it is to be found in the world’s poorest continent. You could call it Africa Last. African leaders have mostly played down US disengagement. They have shrugged off Trump’s lavatorial comparisons and his invention of the 55th African state of "Nambia". They have ignored snubs, such as when Trump walked out of the working session on Africa at last year’s Group of 20 (G-20) in Hamburg. But they cannot help noticing the Africa-shaped hole where Washington’s African strategy should be. The US, says Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese telecoms billionaire and a champion of better governance, has lost its authority to "as the leader of the liberal w...

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