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China is turning to Africa for food as it becomes dependent on imported rice (photo: dpa)

The dragon and the lion: how China harvests Africa’s growth

By 2050, a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa. Its mineral wealth and agricultural and industrial potential are coveted by nations hungry for resources and developing markets. None is better placed than China, writes GIS guest expert Brendan O’Reilly. It is Africa’s leading trading partner and its investment there is increasing significantly. Nor is a slowdown in China’s economy expected to affect this dominance, with implications for others competing in the scramble for Africa.

CHINA is not only Africa’s largest trading partner, the combined value of this commerce is now worth more than US$200 billion a year, and it is growing.

Beijing has opened a US$...

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 Brendan O’Reilly
China holds advantages that India does not. It is very good at building infrastructure and often includes such projects in its deals. India does not have the same capacity
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