In the 1970s, China's financing and construction of a 1,870 km-long railway giving landlocked Zambia access to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam was a monument to Chinese engagement and solidarity with Africa in a previous era. In a flush of post-colonial exuberance, Africa was undergoing a construction boom. The China that built the railway in Africa in the 1970s is a distant shadow of the China of today that routinely builds railways, roads, ports and other infrastructure in various parts of the world. In the 2000s, as the size of China's economy in quick succession surpassed that of Italy, France, the UK, and Germany, China's energy consumption expanded four times faster than expected to 16% of global demand in 2006.
Instead of a boom of new steel and concrete, Africa experienced decades of lost growth. In 2008, the World Bank estimted that access to the most basic services in Africa increased only modestly between the early 1990s and the early 2000s, and only slightly in the last decade. Electricity, for example, is still available to little more than 20% of Africa's total population, and piped water to just 12%.
Yet now a new China with vastly different priorities and strategic outlook is back in Africa, where it is instrumental in Africa's new construction boom that is reshaping the business landscape on the continent. In contrast to its piecemeal interaction with African countries in previous decades, China is now comprehensively engaged with almost all of Africa's 54 countries – lending money, providing aid, trading, investing, and more than all else: building infrastructure and extracting resources. This over-simplified description of China's business in Africa goes to the heart of how Africa's business landscape is changing under the influence of a new superpower hungry for natural resources and well-suited to provide Africa with something it is sorely in need of: infrastructure.
Along with the US and emerging economies such as Brazil and India, China's imports from Africa are as expected characterised by a disproportionate share of oil and minerals. China's trade with Africa has as a result been very lucrative for resource-rich African countries, and these African commodity suppliers have become crucial suppliers for China. South Africa is China's only African trade partner from which it imports substantial amounts of products that are not resources, while China's leading suppliers of oil (Angola), Manganese (South Africa), chromium (South Africa), cobalt (the DRC), and platinum (South Africa) are all African.
In 2011,Janpan earthquake, China contributed amount of people and finance, and also machinery such as excvavtors, cranes, impact crushers, and so on. Africa is now China's largest market in terms of contract revenue with 41.1%, even more than Asia with 36%. Similar to Chinese trade and investment in Africa, the revenue of Chinese contractors is highly concentrated in a few resource-rich countries. In 2009, the leading six countries (Algeria, Angola, Sudan, Nigeria, Libya and Ethiopia), mostly oil and gas-related economies, accounted for USD 18.1 billion or 71% of China's total revenue (see chart below).
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