Lit­tle drag­ons, big hype

The Africa Report - - HANNIBAL -

THIS IS EX­ACTLY THE IMAGE THAT the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor want to shake off. Bei­jing is lend­ing to well-re­spected in­sti­tu­tions like the Nige­ria-based Africa Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion, which an­nounced a $300m deal in Oc­to­ber. ‘Chi­nese drag­ons – firms of all sizes and sec­tors – are bring­ing cap­i­tal in­vest­ment, man­age­ment know-how and en­trepreneurial en­ergy to ev­ery cor­ner of the con­ti­nent’, said the con­sul­tants at Mck­in­sey in a 2017 re­port that pointed to the es­ti­mated 10,000 Chi­nese-owned firms ac­tive far be­yond the tra­di­tional oil-for-sta­dium trope of yes­ter­year. Some 12% of Africa’s man­u­fac­tur­ing is be­lieved to be done by Chi­nese com­pa­nies. Com­pa­nies like Trans­sion, a large Chi­nese smart­phone maker, are out­selling Ap­ple and Sam­sung in Africa with their pop­u­lar, un­der-$100 Tecno brand.

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