Setting Up Shop: The Far Reaching Implications of China's Burgeoning Presence in Africa

In the past decade, China’s investment in Africa increased from about $77 million to a staggering $2.9 billion.1 Also, China-Africa trade has surged to about $160 billion per year, a twenty-fold increase from what it was ten years ago.2 It is not surprising that the first-ever overseas trip of Chinese leader Xi Jinping was to Africa.3 Today, more than a million Chinese migrants call Africa home, most of them laborers who first arrived in Africa to work on large, Chinese-backed construction projects.4 Many of these Chinese companies employ far more of their own citizens to work in these laborious jobs than Western companies do. While the financial flow and migration figures from China to Africa are hard to pin down, what is clear is that Chinese people and money have surged into Africa over the past decade.

Michael R. Corcoran
February 01, 2015

A Review of China's Second Continent: How a million MIgrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa; By Howard W. French (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), 285 pages