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China: Africans View China’s Presence on the Continent as Positive


The majority of Africans are in favor of Chinese development on the continent, according to a new statement titled “China’s Growing Presence in Africa Wins Largely Positive Popular Reviews” by the Afrobarometer Research Network. “Almost two-thirds or 63 % of Africans say China’s influence in the continent is “somewhat” or “very” positive, while only 15 % see it as somewhat or very negative,” the statement states.

Trade between Africa and China has increased from $10 billion in 2000 to $220 billion in 2014. In 2000, China established the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation to drive its strategic engagement with sub-Saharan Africa. Since again, the communist country has been the go-to world economic resource for African nations in need of products and services ranging from infrastructure and telecommunication development, to food outlets, retail shops, and textiles.

“At the same time as asked to national what makes China favorable, 32 % of respondents singled out China’s infrastructure and other developments and 16 % cited its business investments. 23 % cited the country’s low cost of its products.

However, 35 % of respondents disapproved of the low quality of its products, inclunding political and social considerations,” reads the statement.

According to the study, Africa is the major source of mineral imports for China, along with smaller amounts of oil and agriculture. In the completed decade, Chinese laborers and traders have emigrated to Africa in large numbers in search of better opportunities. .

Twenty-four % of respondents from 36 African nations surveyed concluded that China is the second-most-popular model for national development. Only 30 % cited the United States, while 13 % prefer their former colonial power, the United Kingdom. 11 % of people pulled as well listed South Africa as a model country.

China is the majority popular model for development in Cameroon (48 %), Sudan (36 %), Mozambique (36 %), Mali (36 %), Tanzania (35 %), and Zambia (32 %),” notes the statement.

Conversely, 67 % of the citizens in Liberia and 52 % in Cape Verde see the United States as the best model of development.

China Has A Positive Influence In Africa

The study asked African citizens to national their opinion about the quality of external assistance provided to their nations. 47 % applauded the assistance they got from China. However, 54 % conceded that their nations were helped “somewhat” or “ a lot” by the United States.

“Regionally, the influence of Chinese economic activities is considered mostly positive in West Africa (72 %), Central Africa (70 %) and East Africa (68 %). In Southern Africa, positive views are 59 % and 42 % in Northern Africa,” the statement observes.

The economic and political influence of China as well varies across African demographics. For instance, 66 % of men view the influence as positive than 60 % of women. The positive perception is as well seen additional part educated Africans at 66 %, compared to 61 % of Africans without any formal education. 65 % of the youth aged between 18 and 35 years old consider Chinese influence as positive, compared to 57 % of those aged 56 years and above.

The statement acknowledges the emergence of China, commonly referred to as the “red dragon,” as a world economic player alongside other economic blocs such as the the United States and the European Union. It notes that Africans do not believe that China is taking chance of continent’s natural resources.

“For Africans, China rivals the United States in influence and popularity as a development model. Despite considerable criticism in the media of China’s interests and operations in Africa, Africans view China’s emergence as an addition to the economic playing field,” observes the statement.

Research for the statement was carried out between 2014 and 2015. Data was collected through face-to-face interviews from a sample of 54,000 African citizens in 36 nations.

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