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Obama Seeks Closer Africa Ties as China Is First Choice

When Uganda sought bids last month for an $8 billion contract to expand the East African nation’s rail network, it only invited Chinese companies to apply.

That condition, agreed to by the Ugandan and Chinese governments, illustrates the hurdles President Barack Obama must overcome as the U.S. tries to challenge China’s status as Africa’s No. 1 investor and trading partner. China’s trade with the continent exceeded $200 billion last year, more than double that of the U.S, which it overtook five years ago.