Chinese government officials have been on all-out PR offensive across Africa lately to reassure increasingly nervous political and business leaders that even though China’s economy may be slowing it will not affect the PRC’s investment plans in Africa.
Africans, for their part, have reason to be worried. Chinese trade with the continent has fallen sharply, 40% by some estimates, in 2015. Similarly, Chinese FDI in Africa plunged a staggering 84% last year. With commodity prices still at decade-lows and Chinese demand for Africa’s raw materials not picking up, the stakes for Africa’s export-dependent economies are extremely high.
Nicholas Norbrook, Managing Editor of The Africa Report magazine, examined how much of Africa’s current economic headwinds are due to China’s ongoing transition from a manufacturing to a service-led economy. Nick joins Eric & Cobus to discuss his article, “When China sneezes, does Africa catch a cold?” from the March edition of the magazine.
Nicholas Norbrook is Managing Editor of The Africa Report, helping to set up the magazine in 2005. He has been a producer for Radio France International, and has lived and worked in West Africa. In 2011 he won the Diageo Business Reporting award for Journalist of the Year.