There has been a lot in the news lately: The Olympics; A crazed gunman killing innocent people during the opening night of Dark Night Rises; Egypt electing a new president and unseating President Mubarak; the first man on the moon Neil Armstrong dying, and the 2012 Presidential election campaign season in full swing.
What hasn’t been at the forefront of the global mind is the Chinese government’s aggressive move into the African continent. Over the last decade and more specifically in the last few years, China has utilized the capitalist system as a means to invest in manufacturing, hydroelectric dams, oil and natural gas and even civil construction industries in Africa.
This interest in the ‘dark continent’ is at least curious, at worst suspicious. None dispute how resource rich the African continent is, but the mad grab made by the Asian nation has raised some eyebrows. Some question China’s long term motives and if this move is an attempt to own vital resources in an era marked by increasing population and arguably limited resources. Some wonder what benefits African nations can hope to see by fostering such a close relationship with the East. Still others wonder if China is ushering in modern colonialism, masked by a play at fair capitalistic dealings.
Here, at Face2FaceAfrica, in a four-month series we will look at what investments have been made by the Chinese government and where and what, if any, promises have been made to entice African leaders into these agreements. We will also explore what has changed for citizens of nations where Chinese presence is heaviest and what the public response has been. There will be a discussion about colonialism and whether this is in fact the East’s more modern version.
Finally, we will look to the future, is there a way out for African nations, can governments say no to China? If they cannot, what will the future hold for Africa, what will the continent look like, will it be better for its Eastern contact or should we be concerned about our new partners?
Stay with us as debate these questions within the next few months, and feel free to send any comments or feedback on this topic to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.