China intends to invest some 60 billion dollars (51.7 billion euros) in economic development in Africa over next three years. This was announced by head of State XI Jinping at China-Africa Forum in Beijing and promised a "win for all parties". In package that Xis government intends to implement under so-called New Silk Road, 15 billion dollars are also earmarked as "aid and interest-free loans".
The Chinese leadership has been investing in Africa for many years and has found a source of much-needed raw materials in continent. In addition, African middle class grows and creates new sales markets for companies from Far East. With a trading volume of last 170 billion US dollars (146.4 billion euros), China surpassed both US and former colonial power of France as continent's most important trading partner.Dams, barracks and a "New York of Africa"
Across Africa, China is involved in operation of government buildings, football stadiums, train routes, airports, barracks and refineries. Dams have been created in Zambia, Ethiopia, Gabon, Cameroon and Ghana with Chinese aid. Chinese investors even finance entire cities, such as Angola's nearly nine-square-kilometer Nova Cidade do Kilamba. In South Africa, Shanghai Zendai Group plans to build a "New York of Africa" with around eight billion US dollars near economic metropolis of Johannesburg, which is to create around 200,000 jobs within next 15 years.
Beijing's interest in Africa has once again increased significantly, since head of State XI launched five years ago construction of new Silk Road, with aim of creating new economic corridors from China to Souast Asia, Europe and Africa. This is accompanied by new military cooperation with which China intends to ensure its economic interests. Since 2017, for example, Chinese military operates its first foreign naval base in Djibouti in Horn of Africa. According to figures from Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), around 21 percent of all Chinese arms exports worldwide have been to Africa since 2008."The trade is one-sided"
Lastly, Beijing government, through trade dispute with United States and criticism from Europe, should feel strengned by its human rights policy in its Africa policy. "Many African leaders welcome Beijing's commitment as an alternative to what y consider to be half-hearted approaches by United States and Europe," writes Sabine Mokry of China Institute Merics in an analysis of China-Africa summit. "It is interesting how much China will present itself as an alternative to US by emphasizing rhetorical free trade and multilateralism."
Many Africans hope for a long-needed development boost in view of investment of People's Republic. Critics, on or hand, criticize "Neo Conquest" of Africa. "Chinese are negotiating contracts in exchange for mining concessions, for example in Zambia or Zimbabwe, or, as in Angola, lending to cover a portion of domestic production," says South African economist and political scientist William Gumede. Even worse, trade between China and Africa is "one-sided," says Gumede. "Africans have hardly won new contracts in China. Africa makes absolutely no profit from it. " Moreover, Beijing has no shyness to work with autocrats as long as it can secure access to Africa's natural resources.Updated Date: 04 September 2018, 12:00