Thursday, 21 October 2021

Why China is Building Africa’s Railways

Take a look at "The B1M" Channel on Youtube. Africa is in the midst of a railway renaissance, and it’s being built in large part by China.

Sino-African relations or Afro-Chinese relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social, and cultural connection between mainland China and the African continent.

Modern political and economic relations between mainland China and the African continent commenced in the era of Mao Zedong, following the victory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Chinese Civil War. At the turn of the 21st century, the modern state of the People's Republic of China (PRC) built increasingly strong economic important ties with Africa. In 2013, it was estimated that one million Chinese citizens were residing in Africa.

Trade between China and Africa increased by 700% during the 1990s, and China is currently Africa's largest trading partner. The so-called Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established in October 2000, which designated itself to be an official forum to strengthen the relationship between both parties. There have been increasing international concerns over the significant political, economic, and military roles that the country of China is playing in the African continent.

China’s so-called "rail spending spree" in Africa seems to be over but it is still laying down the tracks. Chinese contractors have started work on a mega rail project in Tanzania, days after completing another in Nigeria.

However, it seems that loan restructurings and poor returns have made lenders more cautious, putting other projects on hold.

Just days after completing West Africa’s longest double-track standard railway in Nigeria, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has started work on a US$1.3 billion railway on the other side of the continent, in Tanzania.

In the past decade, Beijing has strengthened its position as the largest contractor and financier of infrastructure in Africa, especially under the Belt and Road Initiative - President Xi Jinping’s trillion-dollar project that has seen the construction of railways, roads, ports and power plants.

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