NAIROBI — The emergence of China as an economic giant has boosted Africa’s economies by enabling the continent to diversify its sources of investments, a think tank said on June 28.
“China’s investment is expanding Africa’s horizon and this is good for Africa as its total stock of investments are increasing,” Kenya’s Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) CEO Kwame Owino said during the China-Africa round table, a trade forum.
The day-long event brought together participants to review the role of China in Africa’s economies.
Owino said that there is a positive relationship between China’s capital inflows into Africa and the growth of incomes in the continent.
He noted that Africa has an investment deficit which is complicating the region’s ability to create jobs.
China accession into the World Trade Organization in 2001 is widely seen as the beginning of its integration to the global economy.
IEA said that one of the biggest beneficiaries of China’s economic expansion has been the African continent.
“In fact, the increasing trade and investment between China and Africa has made China to become one of the continent’s biggest trading partners,” Owino said.
Kenya government data indicates that Sino-Kenya trade has grown by an average of 27 percent annually between 2011 and 2015.
Chinese exports to Kenya constitute about 35 percent of Kenya’s total imports.
Owino said that previously most of the machinery and equipment imports in Kenya was from the UK, but the African nation now sources them from China.