Political Geography. China’s Interest in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Over the recent past, there has been a growing relationship between China and various countries in Sub-Saharan parts of Africa. Some of the factors that have led to the growing relationship include economic growth, high demand for raw materials, and the changing dynamics of the world. Evidently, the relationship has posed a number of benefits and shortcomings in Africa as well as China. The benefits include economic growth, infrastructural developments, and increased employment opportunities. On the other hand, the shortcomings that have transpired from the relationship comprise exploitation, overreliance, and environmental degradation. These benefits and shortcomings are factors that characterize the developing relationship between China and Sub-Saharan Africa. It is within this context that the essay examines the factors leading to China’s growing interest in many countries south of the Sahara.

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The economic development of China has been on the rise for several decades. Consequently, the growth increased the country’s need for raw materials required by its several processing plants (Goldstein 76). Increased demand for raw materials initiated a working relationship between the country and various African states in the south of Sahara. According to Wang and Elliot, China is among the leading partner of several countries in Africa like Angola, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nigeria (1015). The level of imports that China purchases from Africa has risen over the past decades and currently, the country purchases almost a third of its raw materials from the continent. Increased imports from China on various raw materials found in Sub-Saharan Africa introduced a simultaneous growth in the GDP and economies of the respective countries.

Another factor that explains the presence of China in Sub-Saharan Africa is the developing nature of these nations and the need for resources, finished products, and expertise from developed countries. While various countries in Europe and America are developed, several states in Africa are still developing. Therefore, they need expertise, resources, and finished products from continents like Asia and Europe. Since China offers lucrative opportunities in terms of policies and cost, several Sub-Saharan countries choose to work with the state in a quest to advance their infrastructure and boost their economies (Dijk 11). Currently, several experts from China are in a number of African states to provide the necessary training and expertise concerning development and economic growth. Frontani and McCracken explain that the government of China presents lucrative policies that lead to bilateral agreements and swift completion of projects in Sub-Saharan regions of Africa (276). The policies that China advances to these states increase the magnitude of the relationship that exists between the states and China.

The presence of China in various Sub-Saharan countries is on the rise and scholars predict an upward trend. Good working relationships based on economic development and lucrative policies provided by China are some of the factors that explain their augmented presence in the region. While China needs raw materials from Sub-Saharan Africa, various countries in the region require finished products and resources. These requirements from the country and several countries that lie at the south of Sahara instigate a working relationship, and hence, increase engagement of China in the region. Although the presence of China and its participation in Sub-Saharan Africa has some shortcomings, the merits that occasion from the relationship outweigh them. As a result, the relationship between China and Sub-Saharan African countries is bound to continue rising.

Works Cited

Dijk, Miene. The New Presence of China in Africa. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009. Print.

Frontani, Heidi and Anna McCracken. “China’s Development Initiatives in Ghana, 1961

Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa 14. 8 (2012): 275-286. Print.

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Goldstein, Andrea. The Rise of China and India: What is in it for Africa? Paris: OECD, 2006. Print.

Wang, Fei-Lin and Esi Elliot. “China in Africa: presence, perceptions, and Prospects.” Journal of Contemporary China 23.90 (2014): 1012-1032. Print.

A map showing Sub-Saharan countries of Africa
A map showing Sub-Saharan countries of Africa

(The green colour indicates Sub-Saharan states of Africa, Sudan is light green since it is part of Sub-Saharan Africa, is an Arabic state, and lies in the northern part of Africa)

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Premium Papers. 2022. "Political Geography. China's Interest in Sub-Saharan Africa." January 25, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/political-geography-chinas-interest-in-sub-saharan-africa/.

1. Premium Papers. "Political Geography. China's Interest in Sub-Saharan Africa." January 25, 2022. https://premium-papers.com/political-geography-chinas-interest-in-sub-saharan-africa/.


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