Chinese Equity in African Economies

Muyiwa Adeyeye

The African continent has been subjugated under western practices and exploitation of resources since the imperialism of the 19th century. This history has a stronghold on African nations today, still crippling economies, resources, and culture. Over the course of several decades when countries were fighting for independence from western influence, China maintained a significant presence in African trade and development without imposing their beliefs and laws in the continent. Although African governments saw opportunity in working with China to develop infrastructure without political collateral, recent affairs in many African nations have become quite controversial with their system of commodity-backed lending. The following visual shows the African countries with the most active relationships with China, and the effects it has had on the economy.

Commodity-Backed Lending is a financial loan that is collateralized with a nation’s natural resources. The money supply cannot increase past the commodity the country holds, so the lender is always guaranteed repayment in some form. These loans are beneficial to build a nation’s infrastructure but can also badly impede economic development due to natural resource reallocation and corruption.

Data sources: