Study of Chinese Investments and Influence in Africa and Its Impacts on Society

Topics: Africa, African Union, Overseas Chinese Pages: 9 (3031 words) Published: March 12, 2012

Chinese financial injections have been supporting economies of many African countries in recent years. Chinese business enterprises created new working positions, helped to improve infrastructure, brought new technologies and also cheap products which could African people afford more then the ones exported from Europe or USA. However, later it appeared that China’s increasing influence doesn’t lead African countries only to prosperity and better life but started to cause problems. Nowadays, there are many questions whether Chinese expansion to Africa has positive or negative impact, especially in terms of respecting human and worker’s rights, environmental issues, protection of local labor markets and constantly blooming corruption and non transparency of political systems in most of the African countries.


Chinese investments and business practices in Africa have surely brought certain cure and help to this continent, however, due to obviously increasing Chinese power and interest in gaining as much benefits as possible in Africa started to show its negative impacts.


Africa has a long history of unhappy experiences with outside powers coming to exploit the continent. After decolonization most of newly created states were not prepared enough to independent state existence. The whole continent has been facing to adverse conditions for decades. Nowadays there more that 40 countries in Africa which are classified as the least developed countries - the countries with low standard of living and underdeveloped industry whose main problems are: a high population growth, poverty and low education and health system, pollution, non-functional government and bad infrastructure. These countries could hardly exist without a support of other countries and international organizations that provide them a financial aid. Chinese investments have been bringing a significant financial help so many African countries in recent years. Though China is providing a needful help to African economies, nowadays its presence starts to be seen also as a threat. Chinese influence is constantly increasing and China pushes away even European and American investors.


Apart from European Union and USA, China is the biggest donor of financial injections in Africa and it’s become a business partner number one in many parts of the continent. In every part of Africa there is something what interests China. The whole continent is quite rich in natural resources; there are copper mines in Zambia, iron ore in Gabon, chrome and gold mines Zimbabwe and huge oil reserves in many places. Moreover, other countries which posses less natural resources created a perfect opportunity for China to build companies and trade, and to take advantage of many investment opportunities. China has large interest in Africa’s natural resources and it requires enormous investments in infrastructure, mines, power plants, oil exploration activities, pipelines, roads, bridges, railways, transmission lines and many others. Thus there are tons of raw materials and fuel going to China and Chinese billions going to Africa, for example to countless new

Overview of Africa’s natural resources reserves

Data of Chinese outward investments and trade with Africa

Construction projects and agriculture. From 2005 till 2010 China’s investments to Africa increased dramatically, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for almost 14% and the whole region for 30,3% of China’s total outward investments. In 2010 trade between China and Africa exceeded $120 billion.1 As we can see in the previous chart, the increase in investments between 2005 and 2010 is really significant. Nowadays, China has become Africa’s biggest trading partner and buys more then 1/3 of its oil.

Even though China kept up a list of aid projects in more than forty-five African countries, they claim their help is not a charity but it’s based on mutual...
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