Wednesday June 23, 2021

Africa's friendship with China goes beyond economic cooperation

May 07, 2021
2 min read
Africa's friendship with China goes beyond economic cooperation

While many initially expected the COVID-19 pandemic to threaten the China-Africa friendship of nearly 30 years, it has remained unchanged. China is still one of Africa's most reliable allies, while China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is maintaining momentum even during the pandemic, thanks to the 1,100 cooperation projects happening in Africa. A lot of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements are in place between China and several African countries as well, with Chinese companies making large investments in Africa's agricultural production, mining, and industrial production.

The trade volume between China and the African countries has reached $200 billion annually, and it seems like it will continue to increase. In 2019, China invested $2.7 billion and gave away $3.1 billion in aid to Africa. Chinese companies have signed contracts worth $46 billion with African companies as well, portraying how the relationship between China and the African countries is only getting stronger.

Moreover, according to the agreements made between China and Africa, it is highly likely that African countries are willing to further develop their cooperation with China. China is currently one of the world's most important producers and is constantly working on developing new technologies, which is highly beneficial for African countries hoping to boost economic growth rates and improve production capacities and labor-force quality. Transferring knowledge, capital, labor, and experiences is thus highly valuable and even necessary when it comes to the development of Africa.

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However, while both sides can gain significantly from the partnership, there are still some complaints coming from some of the African countries cooperating with China. Many Chinese men have started marrying African women since Chinese men often experience difficulties when trying to form a family life inside their national boundaries due to cultural codes. They have also been marrying African women to gain residency and continue their business operations in the country.

Therefore, marrying an African lady has become a preferable option for many, which has brought on a cultural change in Africa and left many African countries highly worried. Because the African countries have their own unique cultures due to the lack of communication with other non-African nations and previous European attempts to imperialize the country, China must consider the sensitivities of the African people while working with Africa in order to continue maintaining a solid relationship.

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