China in Angola: winning hearts and minds.

China is winning the hearts and minds of one of the fastest growing economies in the African Continent. As the country was destroyed by a long and deadly civil war, China was the only country which immediately offered financial support.

Recently, the deal terms have been the following: in exchange for access to Angolan natural resources, China develops the country’s infrastructures.

There is a positive and negative side to it:
Chinese investment employs Chinese people (it is estimated that around 50 thousand Chinese people are now based in Angola). In this way, wealth is transferred overseas, the common Angolan lacks access to jobs, and he/she does not entirely benefit from this chinese-sponsored development.

On the other hand, Angola is booming. It is on its way to become one of the world’s top 5 performers. Infrastructures are being rebuilt and a middle-class is rising (even if slowly).
One wonders if this economic growth will translate into a sustainable economic development in the medium-term.

One thing is certain, China has been playing a fundamental role in Angolan growth and, in pragmatic terms, it has been an ultra-positive relationship to China. By winning the hearts and minds of the Angolan government it is guaranteeing a safe supply of the much-needed natural resources. And who knows, Angola may become, in the near future, a main trading partner for china-manufactured goods.

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