Challenging Pax Americana: The Commercial Imperative in Chinese Arms Exports to Africa — A Case Study of Uganda and Kenya

Image: Flickr, Gary Todd
Image: Flickr, Gary Todd

Why are African states shifting their military procurement from traditional suppliers (the West and Russia) in preference of Chinese arms?

This article seeks to use Kenya and Uganda as case studies to explore their military procurement priorities and to examine whether or not the growing preference for Chinese arms will affect their relations with the US. The research finds that, although these countries view US military hardware as the gold standard, the higher costs associated with comparable US hardware and the protracted and sometimes intrusive US oversight processes make Chinese arms more attractive. In addition, diversification of military suppliers is regarded as strategically important to avoid dependency. Based on this research it would appear that US and China’s military competition in Africa remains only rhetorical thus far.

1 Sep 2020