Much has been written about China in Africa – a relationship that has been described as neo-colonial as China’s appetite for African resources has boomed and China has embarked on landmark projects such as the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa (pictured left).
But quantifying the China-in-Africa story has been hard. There are official projects, aid donations, gifts, credit lines and more. Adding all that up is tricky – but a new database from AidData shows just how vast and sprawling Chinese investment in Africa has become. Chart of the week has run the numbers.
The first thing to note is that collecting this data is a huge undertaking. It tracks over 2,000 offical and unofficial projects to the end of 2011, from office furniture in Angola to railways in Zambia.
Chinese development finance is incredibly hard to quantify. A report from the Center for Global Development identifies three reasons why China is not keen to be transparent about its funding…