Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download


4 D+C Vol.42.2015:1 Monitor Experts are discussing what kind of development impulses China is giving Africa. A recent publication by the ­independent think tank Südwind as- sesses China’s performance as devel- opment partner. Since 2000, China has emerged as an important player in Africa. Its “going global” strategy is mainly about making direct investments abroad. These invest- ments usually serve the purpose of safe- guarding access to commodities. The Chi- na Exim-Bank and China Development Bank are two large public-sector institu- tions that support Chinese investors in Af- rica, where some 2,000 Chinese compa- nies are currently active. In 2011, the People’s Republic of China became Africa’s most important trading partner, ahead of the USA. According to Südwind, around 90 % of Chinese imports from the continent are raw materials. In 2012, oil alone accounted for around 48 %. China’s exports to Africa are almost exclu- sively manufactured products, however, from cargo ships to air conditioners, com- munications technology, shoes and plastic goods. Africa’s trade with China thus dif- fers very little from its trade with Europe. According to the authors, the data on Chinese investments in Africa is unsatisfy- ing. They cite a lack of transparency and state that statistics are complicated, so it is a challenge to distinguish profit-oriented business from real development assis- tance. According to estimates, Chinese de- velopment aid amounts to somewhere be- tween $ 1.5 billion and $ 18 billion. There is no doubt that the sums officially trans- ferred from China to Africa without profit intentions have increased in recent years, the authors state. From 2000 to 2010, some 1,500 projects in 50 African coun- tries were funded with Chinese assistance. The most important organisation for China’s relations with Africa is the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was founded in 2000. The Südwind experts argue that the purpose of this con- ference of ministers is to strengthen eco- nomic, political and development-ori­ented cooperation. The guiding principles for the Chinese side are: Strategic partnership at eye-level that of- fer win-win opportunities for both sides: “new” south-south partnerships are not supposed to follow the example of the donor-recipient relations that typically mark north-south cooperation. South-south cooperation A Chinese company that owns a copper mine in Zambia helped building a football stadium in the capital, Lusaka. China’s role in Africa