The newly built African Union Head Quarters at Addis Ababa now can be seen as a monument of China’s increasing engagement in the continent. The head quarter has been freely built by China spending $200 mn. China’s effort to make stronger relationship with Africa by using money power comes at ‘its’ right time when most of the developed countries are in financial turmoil.
Main purpose of China’s exercise is to consolidate its economic engagement with Africa. China is buying large number of African assets especially resource and mineral based assets over the last one decade. Security of critical resources is important for China to feed its expanding economy. Over the last five years, most of the African iron ore, copper and other mining contracts are obtained by Chinese companies. Indian companies without state support are struggling to compete with Chinese investors. The construction of the African Head Quarter will give political and diplomatic edge to Chinese endeavors in the African continent.
China is aggressively investing in the Agricultural and infrastructure areas in many countries across Africa. Ethiopia is its favourable destination because of the relatively peaceful situation, large population, and a vast agricultural sector. Other countries like Sudan, Nigeria also have sizable resource based Chinese investments.
The Asian giant’s resource based investment activity in the continent also has invited criticism from both inside and outside the continent. Many NGOs in Africa recently complained about land grabbing and other types of exploitative activities by Chinese companies in different African countries. Indigenous activists criticize that over utilization of critical resources will lead to deprivation for the future generations. Activists also reports governments in the continent are excessively submissive to huge Chinese money on such cases.