How China is battling ever more intensely in the African markets

Is China buying up Africa?

It is public knowledge that the world's second superpower keeps pouring billions of dollars into Africa, running oil and mining firms all over African region.

China is virtually doing everything in Africa, from roads and bridges to stadiums and important government buildings.

Arguably, the most important political building in Africa; headquarters of the African Union was totally financed with Chinese money, to the tune of $200 million.

In 2016, China beat the U.S and the UK as the top investor on the continent of Africa.


Africa is the world's fastest-growing market and has the world's richest mineral reserves, so obviously there's money to be made. But do the Chinese want more?

Here are the top five Chinese investment destinations in Africa.

According to China Briefing, a business magazine and news agency Angola is China's top African supplier of crude, and China buys 43.8 percent of Angola’s total oil exports. The bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded $120 billion in 2010.

Angola is endowed with resources such as oil, diamonds, gold, and copper, but it has only begun to rebuild after decades of crushing civil war. Oil and diamonds constituted 60 percent of its economic output in 2008.


The majority of the oil deals "are characterized by loans and credit lines in connectionwith infrastructure projects," China Briefing says, including three major deals financed by China’s Export-Import Bank, totalling more than $7 billion since 2004.

Asia Times report that Angolan-Chinese bilateral trade was roughly $25 billion in 2010.

Sino-Nigerian relations are traditionally friendly and go back to the 1970s when the West African country was an international pariah due to its successive military governments. But as China's economy and energy needs grow, so do Chinese investments in Nigeria.

Nigeria holds the second largest oil reserves in Africa, accounting for over 90 percent of its exports. Even though China's imports from Nigeria are relatively small, compared with the US, in 2006 China and Nigeria signed a $4 billion agreement in oil and infrastructure projects, an agreement that includes four drilling licenses for China.


Separately, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation(CNOOC) purchased 45 percent of an oil exploration block off the coast of Nigeria for $2.3 billion in 2006.

According to Voice of America, China and Nigeria signed a $23 billion agreement for China to build three oil refineries and a fuel complex in 2010.

Once an agriculturally rich country, Sudan experienced an oil boom through the early 2000s. American oil companies are not allowed to invest in Sudan because of international sanctions imposed after the Darfur conflict, so the China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) plays a dominant role in oil and gas projects.

Sixty percent of Sudanese oil exports, which account for 90 percent of the country’s revenue, go to China according to China Briefing.


The Chinese presence is not only seen in the oil industry but detected in other infrastructure projects such as the Merowe Dam. The Merowe Dam is the largest hydropower project both in Sudan and Africa.

Modest oil reserves were discovered at Mauritania's Chinguetti oil field at the turn of the new millennium. CNPC quickly saw the potential and currently operates three exploration projects in the country.

In 2006, China and Mauritania signed a $2 million cooperation deal eying the health, economic and sociocultural sectors, Business in Africa online reports.

Typical of this cordial partnership is the Nouakchott Port project, built by a Chinese state company and financed through a $295 million preferential loan provided by the Chinese government. Bilateral trade in 2010 was estimated at $1.096 billion.


With rich natural resources such as diamonds, nickel, coal, copper, and gold, Botswana is one of the fastest developing economies in the world, averaging a 9 percent annual growth, the World Bank reports.

China is offering Botswana interest-free loans, low-interest loans, as well as grants, and it has a stake in 28 projects such as roads and railway renovation, health facilities and low-cost housing construction, according to the website of the Chinese Embassy in Botswana.

Along these lines, in 2009, Standard Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) financed the expansion of the Morupule coal power station by providing a $825 million loan over a 20 year period.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: