Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - With a ten-year investment that exceeds 75 billion dollars, China has almost reached the United States in the ranking of countries that contribute most to economic growth in Africa. However, as pointed out by a Center for Global Development report, "the nature of the support of Beijing to the nations of the African continent is very different from that of Washington."
From 2000 to 2011, China has invested more than 75 billion dollars in Africa. Of these, only 1.1 billion a year are officially declared as "contributions to developing countries" within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The amount of American investments in the same period is estimated at 90 billion dollars.
Beijing is trying by all means to maintain the exact figure regarding their investments in Africa under wraps, as some analysts have described it as "a new form of colonialism." The researchers, based on Western and African news sources, have identified 1,673 Chinese projects in the continent over the period.
The investment plans vary in purpose and geographical extension. According to the contracts tracked by the Center, they include a military college in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe - who is no longer welcome in Europe - an opera house in Algeria, to Ghana which is the most benefited by Chinese aid.
One of the research participants, the Director of AidData Brad Parks, argues that it contradicts the stereotype that China seeks raw materials especially in Africa, "In addition to the projects in that sector, the Chinese do much in the areas of health, education, civil society: many things most people don't think are usually supported by the Chinese government. "