In 15 years, China has built invested over $350 billion in Africa. Chinese foreign aid boosts African development and covers 140 African countries and territories.
China has been engaging with African countries since 1955, with the Bandung Conference. From the first efforts in Egypt to the TAZARA Railway, the most remarkable project China has in Africa, Chinese foreign aid boosts African development mainly in infrastructure, education, agriculture and energy generation.
China spent $134.1 billion on energy generation and supply from 2000 to 2014. In August 2017, China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance and Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to consolidate a cooperative relationship. This project includes building micro-grids for which Chinese providers and core renewable energy manufacturers will provide technological and financial support. This project shows prominent progress in renewable energy.
In addition, China has been increasingly engaging in the wind and solar PV industries under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers’ Procurement Program, which focuses more on Chinese investors and companies’ investments, technology supply and manufacturing. Renewable energy generation is a win-win strategy, protecting the global environment and building the China-Africa connection.
Until 2014, China spent $10 billion on agriculture, forestry and fishing projects. In 2015, Chinese President Jinping Xi announced a $60 billion funding for 10 comprehensive plans to strengthen China-African cooperation. China-Africa agricultural industrial chains are one of the top priorities in these plans.
Additionally, China has been introducing agricultural technology and new breeds into Africa and has been sending agricultural experts to train African farmers. From 2000 to 2013, Chinese foreign aid to Africa in the agricultural sector has grown from $25 million to $325 million. The remarkable growth has brought African citizens an alternative way to improve their lives.
Infrastructure investment has dominated Chinese foreign aid to Africa for more than a decade. The most significant project is the TAZARA railway in East Africa. The TAZARA railway was designed and built from 1968 to 1976. This 1,860 km railway stretches from Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam, to New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia, which eliminates Zambia’s economic dependence on Rhodesia and South Africa.
This railway benefits the many rural regions along the route. There are thriving marketplaces at every train platform, providing a valuable method for rural residents and farmers to trade daily necessities. China invested more than $400 million in this project, along with technical assistance.
TAZARA railway is only one example of the many infrastructure projects China has worked on in Africa. From 2000 to 2014, China invested $88.8 million in transport and storage. The infrastructure aid has helped to stabilize African economic development.
Overall, Chinese foreign aid boosts African development mainly in infrastructure, agriculture and energy generation. Even though Chinese foreign aid to Africa is controversial, its investment has motivated African development on a large scale.
– Judy Lu
Photo: Wikimedia Commons