Why is China Interested in Africa?
China’s foray into Africa is a topic of much discussion at international fora and strategy sessions and meetings in Western capitals as well as in discussions in African capitals and in the classrooms of academic institutions around the world. Much has also been written about this topic in books, academic journals and magazines. This will continue to be so for some time; even as of the time of writing, discussions are still ongoing among numerous policy makers and China-Africa specialists and observers about China’s current engagement and investment in Africa. Some see this current engagement negatively, others positively. Most of the discussions and observations pertaining to China’s interest in Africa have to do with its quest for the continent’s natural resources to fuel its booming economy. The observations of those who view China’s interest in Africa negatively centre on the assertion by some that China is the “new coloniser” or “colonialist” and it is China’s turn to “pillage” Africa – euphemistically put by some of these observers as “the Second Scramble for Africa.” This is drawing an allegory of China emulating Europe’s initial foray into Africa. Specifically, it is looking at China and comparing its current foray into Africa to what happened at the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, which led to the “Scramble for Africa” and its resources by European countries. The difference here is that one country is involved as opposed to numerous countries.