The Chinese Presence in Africa

Issue 1805

14 May 2018

Introduction

Over the last few years, the Chinese presence across Africa from West to East, South to North, through different projects, like building infrastructure or investing in different sectors, has become conspicuous. When you pass through Addis Ababa – the capital city of Ethiopia and the African Union (AU) – you cannot avoid noticing the new flamboyant offices of the AU built by China, or the new railway that links Ethiopia to the sea. A few months ago, Kenya officially inaugurated the train line also constructed by China that links the capital city Nairobi to Mombasa, the biggest city on the East coast. The Democratic Republic of Congo has just signed a contract of $6 billion with China for a 25-year lease of cobalt reserves. In other countries, like Zambia and Angola, Chinese companies have signed valuable contracts for minerals and oil. The Chinese presence is not only seen in big projects like those mentioned above. You also find Chinese individuals in small, local businesses, in retail and even hawking; they are in big cities – like Lagos – as well in rural areas like in Mozambique.[1]

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