Claim – Trade between Africa and China has proliferated, reaching US$166 billion in 2011.
Source: Mail & Guardian paper (19 October 2020)
Verdict – Explainer: Offered information confirms the trade figure priced quote by the Mail & Guardian. Trade in between Africa and China had grown by a minimum of another US$20 billion by 2018, while US trade with the continent decreased.
- Chinese officials were the first to report that trade in between China and Africa reached $166 billion in2011 This was confirmed by information from the UN, World Bank and other research institutes.
- Any variations in figures are most likely to be due to the fact that of differences in how bilateral trade is reported, consisting of the valuing of mineral items.
- US trade volume with Africa has actually fallen, however professionals state this shouldn’t be attributed to political disinterest or the US losing ground to China, however rather to waning US dependence on African oil imports.
Researched by Lee Mwiti
In an October 2020 online post, South Africa’s Mail & Guardian said that while United States president Donald Trump’s objective was to make America terrific, his administration had “mostly remained disengaged” with Africa. In contrast, as United States influence lost ground under Trump, who the article kept in mind hasn’t taken a trip to Africa, China “more accelerated its influence” on the continent.
What is the most current volume of trade? And is there a rivalry between the United States and China for Africa?
Figures traced to Chinese officials in 2012
We traced the claim to declarations from Chinese federal government officials ahead of the 5th ministerial conference of the Online forum on China-Africa Cooperation ( Focac) held in Beijing, China, in July2012 Focac is an official online forum usedto foster relations in between the two areas.
In a speech that month, vice foreign minister Zhai Jun said: “In 2011, trade between China and Africa reached $1663 billion, an increase of 16 times from the 2000 level, with Africa running a trade surplus of $201 billion.” A week later, in a viewpoint piece carried by Chinese state media, commerce minister Chen Deming stated that China stood as the “unchallenged largest trading partner of Africa”.
Chen went on to quantify this: “In regards to trade the overall trade volume between China and Africa hit a record high of $1663 billion in 2011, growing by 83%from the year 2009.” Neither official provided a source for their figures.
UN data confirms Africa-China trade numbers
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies is house to the China-Africa Research Initiative(CARI), which concentrates on, among other areas, the economic dimensions of China-Africa relations. It is led by Prof Deborah Bräutigam, the author of a much-cited2010 book, The Dragon’s Present: The Genuine Story of China in Africa.