Across the vast majority of countries, Africans perceive respect to be asymmetric. In other words, they believe they respect Americans and the Chinese but they don’t believe these two groups of foreigners respect them.
That’s from Gallup survey data. It’s such a shame all of Gallup’s fascinating data is private. Perhaps this is an area for more international public funding.
When Gallup asked Africans about the presence of foreigners in their respective countries, an average of 44 percent said there are “too many” Chinese and 16 percent said there are “too many” Americans. These figures hardly tell the whole story. Strong majorities in many of China’s trading partners perceive the Chinese presence to be overwhelming. For example, 93 percent of Botswanans, 89 percent of Angolans, 69 percent of South Africans and 68 percent of Zambians say there are “too many” Chinese in their countries.
Africans’ perceptions that Americans are too numerous are far less widespread. It’s highest in Djibouti as 51 percent of residents said there are “too many” Americans in their country and lowest in Benin (7 percent) and Zimbabwe (3 percent). However, relatively significant proportions of Angolans (37 percent), Sierra Leonans (30 percent) and Liberians (29 percent), among others, told Gallup there are “too many” Americans in their countries.