Real Instituto Elcano website. China’s rapidly growing demand for energy and natural resources has created increasingly important strategic partnerships with African nations. Blessed with a strong endowment of mineral fuels and ores, Sub-Saharan nations are benefitting from Chinese demand that has driven commodity prices up and generated billions in infrastructure investment on the continent. While some believe China’s entry into Africa is simply another neo-colonial effort with a clear disregard for human rights and the legitimacy of governments, many believe China’s pragmatic and businesslike approach is more dynamic and well rounded than classic Western aid efforts.
Not only are Chinese investments inherently different in their goals and strategy, but they are also significantly larger. There is no doubt that China will continue to need Africa for years, as its paradox of abundant human capital and scarce natural resources will make Africa a key partner in fuelling the double-digit growth rates needed to maintain political stability. It is the opinion of this paper that the relationship between China and Africa is positive for both sides. China is providing African nations with a tremendous opportunity and has made them relevant again to global policymakers, but it is up to Africa to capitalise and drive a hard bargain so that it finally comes out winning.
Download this Real Instituto Elcano’s paper written by Patricio González Richardson here.