The Winner Takes It All? Who Benefits from China’s Increasing Presence in Francophone Africa?
Keywords:China, Francophone Africa, trade, Chinese loans, natural resources, raw materials, infrastructure in Africa
In this paper we explore whether China's presence in Francophone Africa is to the detriment or the benefit of the countries of the region. In each of our five case studies - the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Algeria, Guinea, Mauritius and Djibouti - we examine the respective countries’ motivations to cooperate with China, the advantages and disadvantages derived from the relationship, China’s drivers in its Africa-relations, and whether the cooperation can be considered successful for both sides. We find our hypothesis verified. The selected countries are indeed attracted to China primarily by the need for financial resources and infrastructure development and the promise of non-interference in domestic politics. China is motivated primarily by global trade and political ambitions, raw materials and the growing regional market. With certain limitations, the relationship between Francophone Africa and China can indeed be a win-win relationship.