DAKAR – In recent years, China and Africa have formed one of the modern era’s most successful economic and trade partnerships. China benefits from Africa’s oil, minerals, and markets, while Africa benefits from increased trade and investment in infrastructure, health, education, small-scale businesses, and low and medium technologies.
Some Western observers – and some Africans – have condemned China’s involvement on the continent as a new form of colonialism. But such criticism is largely misplaced. The development model that China is facilitating, which combines productive investment and trade with concessional loans and aid, is helping to break the cycle of under-development in Africa – a goal that Western-led development strategies have failed to achieve.