4 Impacts of Chinese Investors in Africa

As Africans continue to grind themselves out of poverty, the impacts of Chinese investors in Africa are immense. The ties between Africa and China are taut. They don’t seem to be ending any time soon. In fact, during the China-Africa Cooperation Forum in September 2018, China pledged to pump in $60 billion to support Africa.

But what wallop does all this support bring into the African continent? This is a question a ton of socialists and scholars haven’t found answers yet.  Well, below are four crucial impacts of Chinese investors in Africa.

  1. Social impacts of Chinese Investors

In 2007, China wiped out $838 billion in debt to 25 nations. The cancellation of these debts led to the growth of Africa’s economy by over 5% the same year. In 2019, China wrote off Cameroon’s reckoning of $5.2 billion. These revocations and other monitory aids are perhaps the overriding reasons China’s influence continues to gather momentum in Africa.

Chinese investors have, in the recent past, been receiving a much welcoming reception than countries in the west. To ensure Chinese investors stay ahead of the pack, the Chinese government offers scholarships and host thousands of African students. Chinese have also been significant contributors to building roads, dams, bridges, and other infrastructure in the continent.

  1. Trade contribution of Chinese

Reports from CNBC indicate trade between China and Africa amounted to $148 billion in 2017. Over 50% of electronics and other essentials for Africa come from China. And let’s not forget, the items are dirt cheaper than those from other developed countries.

On the flip side, loads of Chinese investors don’t integrate their operations to suit Africans. As it is, most local African manufacturers can’t much the competition coming from China. This leads to tons of small local industries in Africa to close down.

Nonetheless, a considerable number of African countries export raw material to China. In the first half of 2019, both imports and exports shoot up by 2.9%. Consequently, this has led to canceling out of some trade barriers and taxes between exporters and China.

  1. Unemployment effects of Chinese investors

Chinese involvement in Africa is a huge component of not only private enterprises but also job creation.  Conversely, it’s crucial noting not all Chinese entrepreneurs have employees’ welfare at heart.  In countries like Kenya and Zambia, local workers accuse Chinese investors of laying them off without following the right procedures.

Still, some African countries accuse Chinese investors of bringing in their labor instead of sourcing it from the community around their firms.  Countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, among others, regularly engage in demonstrations citing discrimination. This is a huge setback as far as Africans continue to hail Chinese investors.

  1. Moral impacts of the investors

Although most African countries hold their moral values firmly, the coming of Chinese into Africa resulted in vast digressions. Some Chinese investors take advantage of their influence and involve themselves in criminal activities. Like in Zambia, Chinese supervisors splayed local employees with bullets during a demonstration. Also, in Kenya, some Chinese investors were arrested after being found in possession of military uniforms and equipment.

Africans have also been caught up engaging in wrongful acts. For example, Madagascar has been blamed for unlawfully exporting cattle to China, as noted by the Business and Human Rights Organization. Similarly, the coming in of China contributes to the rising cases of poaching for the Chinese ornamental industry.

Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the involvement of Chinese in Africa isn’t a walk in the park. But, one of the core push for China to invest in Africa is the arguable desire to secure raw material to boost its economy.  Another reason is to snowball Chinese influence globally and form a market for their products.

As much as Africa enjoys Chinese investors’ support, a lot of dissection of limits and provisions ought to be laid down.  African governments must not ignore mistreatments while their citizens suffer. Ultimately, Africans should also devise ways to grow their economies and reduce over-dependence on Chinese investors.