If we believe the news headlines, China is shoring up dictators, dispensing billions of dollars for shady deals, and destroying whole ecosystems in its quest to extract oil and minerals from Africa.
What’s to believe, what’s true?
Is China exploiting Africa for its own growth? While I was looking for something not to heavy but still adequate to post, which could light up my questions I came across a nice and short documentary. I think it gives a good insight “behind the scenes” of China’s growth.
It was produced by Al Jazeera Reporters for China’s 60th anniversary in October 2009.
I know this is not explaining the media hype on how China is preying Africa. But no matter what we read, we should keep in mind that even if Chinese aid for Africa might has grown, it is still considerably smaller than the financial flows from the West.
Clearly I do not believe in a “win-win solution” , but Chinese aid has supported industrial projects such as a textile mill, a fishnet factory, and a cocoa processing plant in the West African country. While U.S. legislation forbids aid for projects that may transfer U.S. jobs abroad, Chinese aid is actively encouraging Chinese companies in certain industries to move their factories to Africa. And while Western aid tends to fund shiny new projects, the Chinese have made consistent efforts to maintain and restore their old projects, even if this is much less glamorous.
A good Blog on the CHINA-AFRICA relationship gives Deborah Brautigams Blog . Based on her intimate relation to China and Africa, Brautigam is able to shatter many prejudice. (Check it out!!)
Also very interesting:
Read also: China the new colonialist
Watch the documentary!