China has now taken Great Britain's place as Africa's third largest business partner. Where others only see chaos, the Chinese see opportunities. With no colonial past and no political preconditions, China is bringing investment and needed infrastructure to a continent that has been largely ignored by Western companies or nations.
Traveling from Beijing to Khartoum, Algiers to Brazzaville, the authors tell the story of China's economic ventures in Africa. What they find is tantamount to a geopolitical earthquake: The possibility that China will help Africa direct its own fate and finally bring light to the so-called “dark continent,” making it a force to be reckoned with internationally.
With trade between Africa and China estimated to reach $100 billion by 2010, China recently over-took Great Britain as the continent's third largest business partner. Journalists Michel and Beuret offer an intrepid and intelligent analysis of how Chinese economic investment is changing every-day African life-and the implications for China's role in the international community. From a nation that historically discouraged emigration, China has made a radical volte face-president Hu Jintao actually encourages citizens to seek their fortune in Africa-and this shift has resulted in investment in such areas as hydroelectric dams, textiles and tourism. The authors bring back stories from the rain forests in Congo, the uranium mines of the Sahara and the oil fields of Nigeria-frisking every statistic and detailing the human and environmental impact of China and Africa's relationship-and how it is perceived by the Western political, economic, and humanitarian institutions that have long dictated Africa's parameters of economic growth.