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Is China good or bad for Africa?By Peter Eigen, CNN, 29 October 2012

30 Oct

Editor’s note: Peter Eigen is a member of the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan. He is the founder and chair of the Advisory Council, Transparency International, and chairman of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The views expressed are the author’s own.

China’s growing presence in Africa is one of the region’s biggest stories, but even seasoned analysts cannot decide whether this booming relationship is good or bad for Africa.

Critics say Chinese strategy is entirely self-promotional, aimed at maintaining access to Africa’s precious mineral resources even when that means propping up odious governments. China’s supporters say the Asian superpower is strictly neutral and business-oriented, preferring to generate economic growth not a dangerous dependency on aid.

China has certainly been contributing to Africa’s economic growth, both in terms of trade and with building infrastructure. All over the continent, it has built roads, railways, ports, airports, and more, filling a critical gap that western donors have been shy to provide and unblocking major bottlenecks to growth.

The rehabilitated 840-mile Benguela railway line, for example, now connects Angola’s Atlantic coast with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. And Chinese-financed roads have cut journey times from Ethiopia’s hinterland to the strategic port of Djibouti, facilitating livestock exports.

Meanwhile, bilateral trade between Africa and China continues to grow at an extraordinary pace, reaching $160 billion in 2011 from just $ 9 billion in 2000.

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3 Comments

Posted by on October 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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3 responses to “Is China good or bad for Africa?By Peter Eigen, CNN, 29 October 2012

  1. Tunde

    October 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    The rise of China is good for Africa, in that it provides heightened competition for African resources, this puts African States firmly in the driving seat to ensure they derive maximum value from investments i.e use and development of local content; a paradigm shift from the highly regretable years of profiteering and exploitation.(Submitted by Borderless ,a Local Content advocacy group, based in Nigeria)

     
    • choforche

      October 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      Thanks Borderless for your insightful reflections on China’s influence in Africa. No thoughts on the harm China may be doing to Africa? is it all a bed of roses?

       
  2. Anna

    March 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Well, Western investments in Africa have never been beds of roses, did it prevent our governments from repeatedly dealing with them? I agree with the first commentator: we need to diversify our pool of investors. TBH, I prefer to deal with someone who is publicly hailed as the Devil’s understudy than the ones who eternally pose as the Messiah when they’re the Devil in person.

     

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