China is Africa’s biggest trade partner and investor. Many projects by the Chinese have sprung up in many parts of Africa over the years. They are also the continent’s biggest predators. China has invested billions of dollars in infrastructural developments in Africa. Since 2005 the total value of Chinese businesses operating in Africa has been more than $2trillion. To improve the infrastructure in many African countries, Chinese firms and African governments cooperate to build railways, highways, hospitals, airports, universities and a host of others. We will take a look at ten big projects constructed/undergoing construction by China in Africa.
Trans Maghreb Highway
Once it is finished, the Trans-Maghreb highway in the Maghreb region will connect up to 55 major North African towns and cities, 60 million people of the area, international airports, universities, hospitals and research centres along one road. The 3,200km Trans Maghreb highway is expected to bind the region’s economies.
The Chinese company CITIC-CRCC plays a significant role in paving 1200km of the Trans-Maghreb that intersects Algeria. An $11billion investment, the same Chinese company, signed an agreement with Algiers to construct a phosphate plant worth $6billion near the Tunisian border in 2018.
Walvis Bay Container Terminal (Windhoek)
The China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd., with $300 billion in funding from the African Development Bank, is set to open a state of the art 40-hectare container terminal in Windhoek, Namibia. They are set to increase Namibia’s capital’s total storage capacity from 350000 to 750,000 containers yearly.
Mambilla Power Plant Nigeria
First created in 1972, it took 35 years to begin on Nigeria’s massive Mambilla Hydropower Plant. The contract awarded to a Chinese company led by the Gezhouba Group in 2007 is set for completion in 2030. The project on the Dongo river will comprise four dams and two underground powerhouses with 12 turbine generators to produce 3,050MW of energy.
One of the main things holding back the nation with the continent’s biggest economy and largest population is its severe electricity shortages. Once on the national grid, Mambilla will boost the former 12,000mw of energy by %80.
Tazara Railway (Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority)
The Tazara is praised as a defining moment in China-Africa relations. It was founded in 1976. It is the first railway funded by China in Africa and the largest project China had ever financed globally. It links the port of Dar es Salaam in east Tanzania with Kapiri Mposhi, a town in Zambia’s central province. It is a single-track railway 1,860km long and is run by the Tanzania-Zambia authority. The project’s total cost is more than $3.5billion in today’s value.
Caculo Cabaca Hydropower Project (Angola)
Angola is another energy-rich country with a power problem. The announcement for the construction of the Caculo Cabana hydropower plant came in 2017, and it is to be constructed by the Gezhouba Group, the firm building Nigeria’s Mambilla plant, The $4.5billion project is expected to generate 2,172MW of energy upon completion in 2024 and deal with the country’s electricity needs. It is to be constructed in the middle of the Cuanza River, the country’s most extensive waterway, and it is expected to create 10,000 local jobs. It is also expected to deepen Chinese-Angolan ties. Angola is China’s second-largest trading partner and the largest source of Chinese imports on the continent.
Abuja-Kaduna Railway (Nigeria)
In 2016, a Chinese financed railway was completed in Kaduna, Nigeria. The second-largest city in the country’s north links the city to Abuja, the nation’s capital. It is 186km that gets up to 90km/hour, a 2.5-hour journey that greatly reduces the travel time between the two cities. It is part of a more significant contract worth $8.3 billion awarded to the China Civil and Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).
Congo-Brazzaville Special Economic Zone
China declared plans to invest in a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Pointe-Noire, the Atlantic Port and the oil-rich Republic of Congo in 2017. Massive cuts to government revenues due to falling oil prices that the country’s GDP has contracted for four years in a row led to increased poverty rates and political unrest.
China’s announcement came at a good time; when China’s diplomat visited the country, he pledged his country’s support in helping Congo-Brazzaville find other ways of boosting the economy besides oil.
Egypt, besides being the continent’s second-largest economy and having the third biggest population, Egypt also has a vital space in the ‘one belt, one road’ (OBOR) scheme of things. The largest recipient of Chinese investment in Africa, Beijing is estimated to have invested $24billion in the region since 2013. But that is a small amount compared to the $35billion Beijing has promised to build a new capital city in the desert east of Cairo.
Autoroute A1 Algeria
The relationship between China and Algeria dates back to the 60s. The China State Construction Engineering Corp. has spent over ten years building most of the huge Autoroute A1, a massive 1,200km east-west highway across the country’s northern tip from the Moroccan border to Tunisia. China also helped build the Great Mosque of Algiers, which started construction in 2012 and was completed in 2019.
Bauxite Exploration Ghana
In 2018, Ghana struck a bauxite exploration deal with China to exploit substantial mineral resources in the West African Country. It is a bauxite-for-infrastructure deal with Chinese firm Sinohydro Corp, and it would allow $2billion to be invested in Ghana’s infrastructure while the Chinese company would get bauxite in exchange. The project has met criticism from conservationists who worry that mining in the country’s essential forests could cause environmental problems.