Angola Reexamines Economic Ties With China As West Offers Aid
The number of Chinese people living in Angola is estimated to have fallen from more than 300,000 during a post-civil war construction boom to less than 20,000 as the African country's relationship with China is rebalanced by a new government, Jevans Nyabiage reported for South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Photo Insert: African leaders are expected to take a wait-and-see approach to the G7's recent announcement of a $600 billion financial package for poor nations.
When the Angolan civil war concluded in 2022, after 27 years of devastation, China committed to bankrolling the country's reconstruction rather than the West. This coincided with the Chinese government's going-out strategy, which encouraged state-owned or private firms to expand into foreign markets.
The resulting infrastructure boom, particularly in housing, roads, and power plants, drew several Chinese firms, and the Export-Import Bank of China promised US$2 billion in oil-backed loans to fund rehabilitation in 2004.
Greater infrastructure expenditure would be appreciated in Africa, where there is a major funding deficit, but African leaders are expected to take a wait-and-see approach to the G7's recent announcement of a $600 billion financial package for poor nations.
On Sunday, during the Group of Seven richest nations summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a $600 billion global infrastructure spending plan to counter Chinese influence in poor economies, particularly those in Africa, through its multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative.
In a new project titled the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, Biden stated that the United States will mobilize $200 billion, with the rest of the G7 countries generating an additional $400 billion by 2027.
“The more the world can do for Africa’s infrastructure, the better,” said John Stremlau, an international relations professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“And in the process, if it can moderate China’s rivalry with the West, then this would be good for all concerned,” he added.
According to Gyude Moore, a former minister of public works of Liberia, Africa has the world's greatest infrastructure requirement. Moore stated, “Any additional source of infrastructure financing will be welcomed.”