03/15/2016 05:40 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2017

Inside Africa's Role in China's Ambitious 'One Belt, One Road' Initiative


China's lofty ambition to revive its ancient silk road trading routes is now becoming a reality. When complete, "One Belt, One Road," or the Maritime Silk Road as it is more commonly known, will connect China via rail and shipping links with major markets in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

Billions of dollars in new rail, shipping and airport infrastructure are underway in dozens of countries, including Egypt, Djibouti and Kenya, which are among a small group of African countries that are expected to benefit most from OBOR.

While most countries welcome the Chinese investment and inclusion in Beijing's trading network, there is mounting concern as to whether it will actually be able to pull off such a large, complex undertaking. Furthermore, in some ways, OBOR is also reminiscent of Britain's old imperial trading network that was designed to extract natural resources from its colonial outposts and then sell back finished goods to these markets.

Shannon Tiezzi is the managing editor of the Asian affairs online news magazine The Diplomat and has been following OBOR's development, particularly in Africa. She joins Eric & Cobus -- in the podcast above -- to discuss the global implications of OBOR and its impact in Africa.

Watch Eric Olander discuss U.S. and Chinese competition for influence in Africa on HuffPost Live: