We are often asked about the extent of Chinese involvement in Africa. The answer is that it large and getting larger. Sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resource exports to China have grown exponentially, from just over $3 billion in 2001 to $22 billion. Oil accounts for 80 percent of this. Other important African export commodities are iron ore,timber, manganese, cobalt, copper and chromium.
There are strong economic complements between China and Africa. China’s growing demand for natural resources is matched by Africa’s under-developed resources.
China is not the only national player in Africa. India is also increasing its investments, committing $2.6 billion since 2003. The bulk of Indian investments were in Nigeria. Oil-rich Gulf states and increasingly Russian investors are also playing a substantial role in African infrastructure, committing $500 million every year over the past seven years.