tirsdag 23. november 2021

The Quiet China-Africa Revolution: Chinese Investment

The Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), a gathering of Chinese and African officials that has been held seven times (including three leaders’ summits) since its inauguration in 2000, has always been known – and occasionally chastised – for being highly government-focused. At the same time, however, a quiet transformation has been taking place: Investors have begun to dominate China-Africa finance.

Since 2003, the earliest date official data is available, annual flows of Chinese foreign direct investment to Africa has risen significantly – from a mere $74.8 million in 2003 to $5.4 billion in 2018. Chinese FDI flows to Africa declined in 2019 to $2.7 billion, and then – despite the COVID-19 pandemic – swung up again to $4.2 billion in 2020. Over the same period, Chinese FDI stocks in Africa grew nearly 100-fold over a 17-year period – from $490 million in 2003 to $43.4 billion in 2020, peaking in 2018 at $46.1 billion. That makes China Africa’s fourth largest investor, ahead of the United States since 2014.