by Riccardo Cacelli
London – At the beginning of the century we are witnessing the development of Africa, underestimated by many, as a continent that will become day after day strategic for international trade and world geopolitics.
In other words, that famous new “multipolar system” that is emerging.
It is enough to observe the commercial and strategic cooperation (schools, hospitals, transport, infrastructure) that China started in the early 2000s and which since 2009 has become Africa’s first trading partner, overtaking the United States.
In 2021, the Africa/China bilateral budget was $254 billion. For this reason, Africa could soon become a place of confrontation, even military (after the war in Ukraine) between Russia/China and the USA.
In this case, China has adopted two systems, the debt trap and the land grabbing. We need to know that Africa has huge amounts of resources and raw materials: – oil – gas – Rare lands a geographical vastness, a variety of strategic quadrants and impressive population growth.
It is estimated that in 2050, about 57% of the world’s population growth will occur in sub-Saharan Africa alone; this means that in 30 years about 23% of the world’s population will live in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to about 15% today.
In particular, the large Chinese investment projects in Africa, both financial and infrastructural, are part of the so-called “Belt and Road Initiative”, that large global development project which would like to create a network of commercial and financial routes which, starting from China extend across the rest of Asia to Europe and Africa.
The greatest impact of Chinese entrepreneurial action in Africa, beyond loans and financial aid, is undoubtedly given by the infrastructure (roads, telecommunications systems, railways, health facilities) through which local governments can potentially fuel development economic.
This constitutes something tangible for the populations who see a concrete improvement in the quality of daily life. China does not only involve the countries richest in resources, such as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia and South Africa, but also with the poorest ones, such as Eritrea, Uganda, Sudan and Kenya. The same concept is declined on the corporate level: China has in fact involved large corporations and large African state-owned companies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises.