China, Africa Partnership
China is making another major headway in strengthening its relationship within Africa. Chinese companies now control significant market share in the transportation and infrastructure sector across Africa. In a strategic attempt to strengthen the Sino-Africa relationship, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr. Wang Yi, visited Africa during the week of Monday the 9th of January 2017.
He commenced his tour to Africa with a visit to Tanzania on the 9th of January, in which Tanzania pledged to consolidate the traditional friendship, integrate the development strategies and promote pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in various fields. More recently, Tanzania signed a $1 billion partnership agreement with a Chinese firm, Epoch Agriculture (TAEPZ), to commercialize cassava farming and processing, raising hopes to growers who have been grappling with the challenge of accessing reliable markets.
China is also looking to strengthen diplomatic and commercial ties with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It has promised to support the development of DRC’s special economic zone (SEZ) in the harbor city of Pointe Noire.
The trip could not be completed without a visit to Africa’s largest market, Nigeria, where Chinese state-owned construction company, CCECC, executes a major chunk of Nigeria’s infrastructure projects. He signed an agreement with the Nigeria Government on “One China” policy, a policy recognizing a single state of “China” and not Taiwan. The minister, on behalf of China also pledged to invest an additional $40 billion in the Nigerian economy in addition to its already existing $45 billion investment.
China’s investment trend in Africa is seen as leaning heavily on the development of infrastructure and transportation sectors and the recent visit of its foreign minister is an indication that the Chinese will be around for much longer.