How did China change Ethiopia

Why China is an indispensable partner for Africa

This financing usually took place in a number of forms of credit, not least large loans for the construction of infrastructure. The continent still suffers from the fact that the European colonial powers have actively hindered domestic economic development. This includes the deliberate disruption of cross-border transport infrastructure - a legacy that means that Africa continues to have the lowest volume of trade between its regions in the world, a major reason for its persistent poverty.

This is gradually changing as African governments give priority to both cross-border infrastructure and building more connections between the hinterland and the outside world. The latter is an expression of the fact that Africa's foreign trade relations are still dominated by trade in raw materials - this also applies to trade with China.

Chinese institutions like the China Export Import Bank have become major lenders for this new infrastructure. The majority of this money is granted in the form of loans. Unlike many other partners, China does not provide many development aid grants. Overall, China accounts for around 22 percent of Africa's debt. These loans are tied, which means that the projects are required to be carried out by Chinese contractors. On the one hand, this promotes efficiency. Compared to lenders like the World Bank, Chinese projects are fast. In a project recently started in Ghana, it took only 18 months from the start of negotiations to the start of construction.

other side of the medal