China Secures Dominant Share of Major Infrastructure Projects in Africa, Study Reveals

Chinese companies secured a staggering 31% of major infrastructure contracts in Africa during 2022, while Western firms accounted for just 12% of such contracts.

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Children rehearse for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Beijing, September 2018 (How Hwee Young/AFP via Getty Images)

In a recent study, it has been revealed that Chinese companies have emerged as the dominant players in Africa’s construction landscape, claiming a lion’s share of infrastructure contracts valued at US$50 million or more. The study, which analyzed data from 2022, highlights a remarkable shift in the dynamics of Africa’s construction industry.

According to the study’s findings, Chinese companies secured a staggering 31% of major infrastructure contracts in Africa during 2022, while Western firms accounted for just 12% of such contracts. This stark contrast signals a significant departure from the landscape of the 1990s when Western firms held the reins, winning approximately eight out of every ten contracts for building vital infrastructure on the continent.

The scale of China’s involvement in Africa’s development becomes even more apparent when considering the financial magnitude of the projects. Over the last two years, Chinese infrastructure initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa reached an astonishing total of US$155 billion. This massive investment underscores China’s commitment to fostering the growth and advancement of African nations through substantial infrastructure development.

In contrast, the study reveals that total US foreign direct investment in Africa amounted to US$44.8 billion in 2021, highlighting the significant gap between China’s engagement and that of other major international players. The shift towards Chinese dominance in the construction sector raises questions about the potential implications for geopolitical influence and economic ties in the region.

Experts speculate that China’s strategic investments in Africa’s infrastructure may yield multifaceted benefits, including strengthened trade relationships, enhanced diplomatic alliances, and the creation of new economic opportunities for both Chinese and African entities. As Chinese companies continue to secure a substantial portion of major construction contracts, the African continent stands to undergo a profound transformation, with the potential to reshape its economic and political landscape.

The study underscores the evolving nature of global economic relationships, as China’s proactive approach to infrastructure investment enables it to consolidate its position as a key player in Africa’s development story. As the construction projects unfold, the effects of this paradigm shift are likely to reverberate across the continent, shaping the trajectory of multiple nations and reinforcing China’s growing influence on the global stage.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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