April 20, 2021

Chart of the Week: China’s economic ties in Africa

by Fathom Consulting.

Since its admission to the World Trade Organization in 2001, China’s position in the global economy has changed dramatically. It has become the largest trading partner with many countries globally, and countries in Africa are no exception. Refinitiv is in the process of expanding its data coverage of the African continent and today’s Chart of the Week highlights data which show how sharply imports from China have increased in Africa’s largest countries. China is also the largest export destination for many African countries, especially those countries whose economies are focused on commodities. In addition, China is the largest creditor for many African countries too. While this credit and trade is welcome in many instances, there have been criticisms, with some claiming that this trade and debt dependency is unhealthy. Fathom recently undertook a study looking into China’s role in the African continent and found that, on average, a strengthening of economic ties with China was associated with weaker economic growth.

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