China in Africa – investment or exploitation | Inside Story | Al Jazeera Tv (video), May 4, 2014

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China in Africa: investment or exploitation?

Premier Li Keqiang shrugs off problems as “growing pains” and says relationship is based on equality and mutual benefit.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang is making his first visit to Africa since taking office last year. The week-long trip will take him to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya.

China is investing billions of dollars in Africa but Beijing has been accused of exploiting the continent’s vast mineral and energy resources, at the expense of local people. Premier Li has dismissed talk of any problems as “growing pains” and “isolated incidents”.

China has been Africa’s biggest trade partner since 2009. Bilateral trade stood at just under $11bn in 2000, by 2006 this figure had jumped to nearly $60bn and last year bilateral trade had soared to $210bn.

Chinese investment in African countries has also risen some thirty fold in the past ten years. Foreign direct investment went from $500mn in 2003 to almost $15bn by 2012. And last year, China pledged $20bn in loans for infrastructure development.

Premier Li called on Chinese companies to “shoulder responsibility” for local communities in Africa, adding: “I wish to assure our African friends in all seriousness that China will never pursue a colonialist path like some countries did or allow colonialism, which belonged to the past, to reappear in Africa.”

But what is at stake for African countries, and who stands to gain the most from the China-Africa relationship?


3 Comments

  1. In my opinion what China is doing in terms of investment is a good thing, not bad at all. As far as I am concerned I applaud any one that goes in there and turn that place upside down industrially. It does not matter who is doing it (I prefer Western Nations) but if China is the one that is going in there with a gusto, so be it. That place has been relying solely on what is sprouting out of the soil for too long. In the meantime, I don’t mean that the country should abruptly abandon its current agriculture dominated economy but just like Brazil and Argentina it should start scaling it down at a fast pace and move toward an all out industrialization. China, Japan, Good Ole USA and every industrialized nation going in there with chisel, hammer and cranked up fabricating machines, I am for it. Someone has to wean the people we left behind off subsistence livelihood dependent mainly on agriculture. I have seen what political dividends industrialization creates from the experience of other countries that used to depend solely on agrarian economy. From what I have seen, the opposition is dangerously fragmented. It has presented itself as something beyond repair and sadly it is a lost cause. Some have found a safe haven with that goon in Asmara, some just roam around in DC and Minnesota, some still ‘hiding’ with their ‘big guns’ in tow somewhere who knows where it is, some in the lecture rooms still learning (sharpening and upgrading their machetes/Menchaas just to murder poor farmers of a different ethnic group) how to pitch one ethnic group against another at some ivy schools, some still gulping down sugar spiked sundaes at some missionary halls. They are strewn around everywhere and still spreading poison among peace-loving peoples who have lived in exemplary harmony for centuries. If I have any plausible respect for any opposition is for those few groups who are in a thick of it back home still shouting for democratic and human rights from the top of their lungs in the streets of Addis(Finfine). All my honor goes to them!!! Just try to picture our country, say, the current regime back home withered away overnight. Can you imagine the picture to follow? O my Goodness!!! Oh My Goodness Gracious!!! All I want say is May Allah Save Our People!!!!!!

    • My preference are the Western Nations too, an I had been saying for a very long time that they should stop being only takers out of Africa, but start being investors; yet all that fell on deaf ears. Surs as I had vision decades ago China is doing what Western Nations didn’t do for over five hundred years.

  2. No. China is not investing in Africa rather exploiting Africa worse than the west. The problem with Chinese is that they are telling us their story that did not go with their actions. China is not coming to Africa with guns like the west rather China went to Africa in the name of fake investment to rob African resources. China knew very well what Africa has and what she does not have. And that is one of the reasons China march to Africa, to feed its one billion people!
    Here is how China is doing business in Arica:

    China lend Africa money that will use to pay Chinese state owned construction companies with Chinese workers to build the infrastructure that will be used to ship out the commodities to China. Since some of our governments will not be able to repay the loans on time, China will take payment in commodities. To sum up, Chinese state owned businesses make money, Chinese workers get paid, infrastructure to remove the commodities gets built, the Africans get debt, commodity exploitation and unemployment. All in the name of ” INVESTMENT” Chinese style! Wow!

    With Chinese alarming migration to Africa in a few years , we Africans mainly Ethiopians do not have a place to call home. Ethiopian government should stop giving out jobs and lands to China while Ethiopians are homeless and jobless!

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