Over the years, China seems to have taken the lead among the powerful countries that have increased interest in Africa. Chinese companies are not only present in almost all African countries but are carrying out various developmental projects. Most infrastructures that are being put in place are now constructed by Chinese companies. China is also signing a lot of bilateral trade in exchange for some form of development. China has also taken its investment in the continent further by building its first overseas military support base in the horn of Africa, Djibouti to support naval missions along the coasts of Somalia and Yemen. Currently, China has surpassed the United state as Africa’s largest trading partner. A position US occupied until 2009.
In Africa, infrastructure projects awarded to Chinese companies are financed by their government through loans and grants. China has carried out a lot of projects in Africa ranging from the building of dams to railways to ports to cement plants.
According to the largest public database of Chinese development finance in Africa, here are 10 major infrastructural projects in Africa financed by Chinese loans.
Coastal Railway – Nigeria ($11.97 billion)
China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. (CRCC) in 2014, signed a contract with the Nigerian government for the construction of a Coastal railway worth $11.97 billion. This deal is China’s largest contract in Africa. The Nigerian railway will stretch for 1,402 kilometres (871 miles) along the coast, linking Lagos, and Calabar passing through 10 states. It will create up to 200,000 local jobs during the construction and a further 30,000 positions once the line is operational.
Bagamoyo Port – Tanzania ($11billion)
The government of East Africa’s second-biggest economy, Tanzania signed an $11 billion deal for the construction of Bagamoyo Port in collaboration with China and Oman. This port is expected to kick off operations between 2020 and 2021 will be the largest in East Africa upon completion. The port is located about 75 kilometers from Dar es Salaam and 10 kilometers from Bagamoyo town, will be able to handle mega ship vessels carrying 8,000 to 20ft equivalent unit containers. The port is located about 75 kilometers from Dar es Salaam and 10 kilometers from Bagamoyo town.
When fully developed, the Bagamoyo Special Economic Zone will attract about 700 industries to become a strategic investment zone in East Africa.
The Bagamoyo port and its affiliate industrial zone are meant to address congestion at the old port and support Tanzania to become East Africa’s leading shipping and logistics center. The port is located about 75 kilometers from Dar es Salaam and 10 kilometers from Bagamoyo town.
Lagos-Kano railway project – Nigeria ($8.3 billion)
China and Nigeria in 2006 signed a contract costing $8.3 billion to build a 1,315-kilometre railway between Lagos and Kano. However, due to funding issues, the contract is now being done in tranches. In 2014, the first tranch of a 186-km Abuja-Kaduna section was completed.
Dangote Cement Plc Expansion ($4.34 billion)
In 2015, Dangote Cement, Africa’s largest cement company signed a $4.34 billion loan with China’s Sinoma International Engineering Co. Ltd to build cement plants in 10 African countries which includes Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Senegal, Mali, Cameroon and Ivory Coast as well as Asian nation of Nepal. Upon completion, the factories will add about 25 million tonnes to Dangote Cement’s current production capacity of 45 million tonnes.
Kenya Standard gauge Railway ($3.6 billion)
China is providing Kenya with financing for roughly 90 percent of the Nairobi-Mombasa project. The railway is being built by state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation, which will operate it for the first five years, and financed by China’s Eximbank. The railway Of $3.6billion in financing cost $4 billion, with China Exim Bank funding $3.6 billion of the total cost. This is the first major new railway line in Kenya for more than a century, running between the capital Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa.
Ethiopia-Djibouti line ($3.5billion)
The 756-kilometer electric railway which links Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa to Djibouti was inaugurated in July 2017. It was a $3.5 billion, of which 70% was provided by the China Export-Import Bank (Exim). The new line gives landlocked Ethiopia access to the Red Sea port in Djibouti. If all goes as planned, it will link up to a planned rail network connecting East African countries such as South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya.
Mphanda Nkuwa Dam and Hydroelectric station project – Mozambique ($2.3 billion)
In 2009, the Export-Import Bank of China signed a $2.3 billion deal with the government of Mozambique to finance the construction of the 1,500-MW Mphanda Nkuwa hydroelectric project on Mozambique’s Zambezi River. The $2.3 billion loan package also includes funding for a transmission line from the dam site to the capital of Maputo.
While some of the electricity would be used to power Mozambique, the surplus will be exported to other countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which are battling with shortages and scarce capacity.
Industry experts hope the new dam will help attract energy-intensive industries to Mozambique.
Construction of oil refinery – Angola ($2 billion)
In 2014, China Development Bank provided a $2billion loan to Angola’s state-owned oil firm, Sonagol for the expansion of its oil and gas project. In addition to allowing execution of other large projects in crude oil exploration, refining, and logistics, the 10-year loan agreement will also fund in part the construction of Sonangol’s planned 200,000 b/d Sonaref refinery in Lobito, Angola.
Deep-sea port – Cameroon ($1 billion)
The government of Cameroon signed a deal with the China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd for the country’s only deep-sea port in Kribi, which can accommodate the larger inter-continental trading ships. The contract is valued at $1billion of which 85% was provided as a preferential loan from China’s Export-Import Bank and 15% was paid by the Cameroonian government.
Platinum plant – South Africa ($650 million)
South African mining company Wesizwe Platinum, in 2011 got a $650 million loan from China Development Banks for its Bakubung project. The Bakubung mine, which has an expected economic lifespan of 35 years, is likely to manufacture 350,000oz of platinum group metals at a cost of R12bn (10.17bn) per annum.