Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Arrival of the Asian Dragon, is China Africa's new hope?

China's growing trade with Africa

percentage of total trade with Africa

Sudan 68%
Eq. Guinea 22%
Angola 37%
Zimbabwe 6%

-China's trade with Africa increased by over 50% in 10 years (96-06)
-China is now the world's second largest consumer of oil (where does China get oil from? yes, good guess! Africa.)
-China is now Africa's third largest trading partner right after the US and France.

What does all this mean? The Asian dragon woke up!

The 19th century was called the British century , the 20th century was called the American century, the 21st century will be called the .....Asian century! Yes, no, mabye.
Did it ever cross your mind that China might be the next superpower?Is China going to replace America or is it going to compete with America? will the world power shift from the west to the east?
In the last few decades, China changed from Asia's old ill man to the world's fastest growing economy. The Chinese did the unthinkable and lifted 400,000 of their populations from poverty, can they help the Africans do the same thing? ( btw, we are talking about half of Africa's population here)
I'm not going to keep asking questions and I will not answer the questions but I will try my best to figure out how China is good for Africa.

The West spent millions and millions of dollars on Africa in the past few decades, did it really work? I'm not being ungrateful here but Africa is still poor. We African welcomed the millineum armed with poverty, diseases, illiteracy and underdevelopment.

This is a famous Chinese proverb "dont give a man a fish, teach him how to fish". China is teaching Africa how to fish!
They are giving Africans what they need. Trade, Business opportunities and investments. Africa doesn't need more aid money or even loans ( loans we can't afford paying back and sky-high interest rates...Thank you sir!). Trust me, I saw real life evidence of how China is good for Africa in Africa's largest country last summer when I was there. For the first time I felt that my country is an oil-exporter. I felt proud and I only thought to myself "finally al koj (bad luck) will go away and Sudan is on its way to development".

If China is good for Africa then why are people pointing out China's bad human rights records and China's so-called attempt at colonizing Africa?

First of all, the Chinese didn't come to Africa with Flags and a new religion (Buddhism in this case.) and they are not on a mission to "civilize" the Africans. They came to Africa with an idea to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship (trade/investments etc..). In other words, the Chinese are NOT colonizing Africa and the Africans are NOT swaping a master for another master.

Second of all, China cancelled the debt of many African countries . I know that many western governments and organizations did the same thing but China did it without any publicity or international coverage.

Third of all, China was poor before (not long ago!) but after the economic reform program implemented in the late 1970's, China had come a looooong way. Mabye China can export ( no, not democracy:)) their economic reform program to Africa. China can help Africa not only by trade and businness opportunities but also by guiding them to development and economic growth.

Is China Africa's new hope?


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