Growing China’s Influence in Africa
- In the past decade the world has seen Chinese investments in Africa across various sectors but for the first time China is involving in the security sector in Africa.
- This has raised apprehensions regarding the Chinese intentions in the region specially after its conference on the China – Horn of Africa peace agreement.
The Chinese presence in Africa is seen in four major areas, they are:
- The African Union’s $200 million Addis Abeba headquarters was one of its hallmark initiatives.
- The Addis-Djibouti railway line, which will link the landlocked nation with Eritrean ports in the Red Sea, has also seen major investment.
- The Mombasa-Nairobi rail link in Kenya is another project in which China has invested, and it has previously completed railroad projects in Sudan.
- Additionally, it has a healthy market for military equipment in Ethiopia and has completed more than 80 infrastructure projects there, including hospitals, roads, schools, and stadiums.
- China is funding 14 infrastructure projects in Djibouti.
Financial Assistance –
- Ethiopia is one of the top five African countries receiving Chinese investments in terms of financial aid, yet it also owes close to $14 billion in debt. 67 percent of Kenya’s bilateral debt is with China.
- China pledged to help Eritrea out with $15.7 million in 2022.
Natural Resources –
- The availability of natural resources like coal and oil is the third main reason why China is interested in Africa.
- The oil terminal in Mombasa has received $400 million from Beijing. Additionally, Ethiopian materials like gold, iron ore, precious stones, chemicals, oil, and natural gas are of interest to China.
- Since Beijing’s initial involvement into the petroleum business in 1995, South Sudan, a source of petroleum products, has seen ongoing investment from Beijing.
- Interests in the maritime sector make up the fourth important area. Djibouti is home to China’s sole military outpost outside of its continental territory.
- The United States has conjectured that China wants to expand its military footprint in the region by constructing another military base in Kenya or Tanzania.
- Africa has been eager to communicate with China. The governments of Africa have generally welcomed China’s projects despite the suspicion that surrounds them.
- In November 2020, when fighting broke out in Tigray, Beijing earned praise from Addis Abeba for upholding Ethiopia’s sovereignty.
- Kenya supported Chinese investments in the nation in December 2021; President Uhuru Kenyatta insisted that the China-Africa alliance was mutually beneficial.
Source The Hindu