Over the past three decades China has become the biggest non-traditional donor in the Sub-Saharan Africa with over 44 countries having formidable ties with Beijing.
The 44 countries form part of the Forum on China–Africa cooperation (FOCAC) that seeks to form good China-Africa cooperation.
At the Johannesburg summit held in 2015 various African heads of states attended including Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma.
During the summit, Jinping pledge $60 billion to aid Africa’s development promising to help nations industrialise and elevate its relationship with the continent.
China’s aid policy, according to an article published on The Conversation website, is premised on equality, mutual benefit, respect and enhancing the self-reliance of Chinese aid recipients. This is also indicated in China’s 2011 white paper on foreign aid:
“The main areas of support for China have been in projects in agriculture, industry, economic infrastructure, public facilities, education and medical and health care, with the intent on improving recipient countries’ industrial and agricultural productivity, laying a solid foundation for their economic and social development, and improving basic education and health care.”
The Conversation reported in 2016 that between 2000 and 2012, China undertook more than 1,700 projects in over 50 African countries amounting to upwards of $75 billion.
This amount, according to the report, it represents a significant alternative source of aid financing for the continent amounting to $75 billion.
China’s aid in sub-Saharan Africa is varied in various sectors from telecommunication to health.
Considering the media reports, the largest amount of aid funding goes towards the transport, storage, energy and communications sectors and a significant share of about 70% is said to be diverted towards infrastructure development.