China’s Belt and Road Stretches to Africa

China’s Belt and Road Stretches to Africa
China’s Belt and Road Stretches to Africa

37 countries have signed up for this Belt & Road Initiative. So, what does it actually mean for Africa? Why are African countries attracted to do this? Because they want to continue to be involved with China, which is the biggest trading partner for Africa. It’s one of the biggest investors that’s one of the biggest providers of finance, and they want to be part of that.

When we talk about the Belt & Road Initiative, we probably want to look back to the countries that were the first ones to sign up. And, back when Belt & Road really looked like the old Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road, it was just coming to the edge of Africa. So, it was coming to Djibouti, it was coming to Kenya, and through Djibouti up to Ethiopia.

So, the first countries that were really recipients of significant projects under BRI were those countries. And, for Kenya, we’ve got the Standard Gauge Railway, which is supposed to eventually go through Kenya and then out into Central Africa.

Ethiopia is now landlocked, and, so, they needed a good way to get their products to the sea and to bring their imports in. And, they’re one of Africa’s largest countries in terms of population, and one of their fastest-growing in terms of the economy. And, so, together with the Chinese, they decided to build a railway that would go down through Djibouti and out to the sea that way.


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