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A Tale of Two Elephants: China’s Rise to Global Reckoning, American Hegemony and the Challenges of Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa

Akpan, Nse Etim, Ogwola, Idoko Robert,


The aim of this paper is to make a theoretical exploration into the sudden, yet, explosive rise of China visa-vis America’s hegemonic position as the world’s unipolar power bloc, and the implications this development portends for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. This article is essentially a theoretical analysis; therefore, its methodology draws largely on document analysis. The paper argues that China’s imminent rise as a global power bloc is a threat to America’s global hegemony. It drew inspiration from the theory of offensive realism as propounded by John Joseph Mearsheimer which affirms that China’s rise will likely not be peaceful. This development has consequential effects on global peace and stability. But much more importantly, it has implications for Africa’s economic and political sustainability. Africa could tap into the opportunity offered by the US-China economic rivalry to formulate proactive strategies that can be applied to afford the continent the needed level of economic development. At the same time Africa must take care not to be isolated by both powers when it becomes apparent that her stance in the power brokerage is divisive and flirtatious. It’s kind of tricky for Africa though; but by and large the continent stands to benefit, if the measures she adopts are well crafted. The paper recommends the need for Africa to maximize her opportunity as a resource provider in a bid to ensure her continuous relevance to both China and the US, engage constructively with both countries in the spirit of interdependence among others and concludes that Africa may become the proverbial grass which suffers when two elephants fight if she fails to harness her potential as the beautiful bride of both countries when the power transition begins in earnest. Keywords: America, China, rise, global, hegemony, challenges, sustainable and development.

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