Executive Intelligence Review


Reports Highlight Advance of China, and New Paradigm in Africa

June 4, 2018 (EIRNS)—A McKinsey Africa Report on the New Silk Road paradigm in Africa (“Dance of the Lions and Dragons: How Are Africa and China Engaging, and How Will the Partnership Evolve?” June 2017) concludes that “China’s growing involvement is strongly positive for Africa’s economies, governments, and workers”; and that “there is considerable upside for Africa if Chinese investment and business activity accelerate,” according to an article on McKinsey’s website.

The 84-page report finds that China’s investment in Africa has grown at an extraordinary 20%/year throughout this century, and is the largest source of construction financing for “Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure projects in recent years,” as well as that China is the largest source of aid. Roughly 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa employ as many as 3 million workers—89% of them African—and provide skills training and apprenticeship programs to many of them, McKinsey’s report finds. Moreover, these firms concentrate on the African markets rather than export markets, and account for 12% of African industrial production and 50% of contracted construction.

Comparing China to the United States, Germany, France and India, the report concludes that “No other country matches this depth and breadth of engagement.”

There is no finding here of “debt entrapment” nor any mention of geopolitical pressure on the most engaged countries—South Africa, Nigeria, and Ethiopia, which Bloomberg last week called “the China of Africa” because of its rapid growth and government committed to the general welfare.

McKinsey’s report bears similarities to the Schiller Institute’s November 2017 report, “Extending the New Silk Road to West Asia and Africa,” in its findings though not its recommendations.

The Washington Post on June 3 published a report by a team of authors on the advance of science research in China, which will surpass the United States this year as the leading nation in investment in scientific research, including R&D spending, papers published in scientific journals, and doctoral degrees in science and engineering. Mentioning China’s breakthroughs in radiotelescopy, supercomputers, quantum computing in space, magnetic fusion, and others, the article focuses on American-trained Chinese, as well as young U.S., European and South American scientists moving to Chinese scientific institutes though a program called Thousand Talents in China.

An expert in Chinese science at Missouri University of Science and Technology is quoted, “There seems to be a sea change in how people are talking about Chinese science,” she said, with foreigners, in particular, “are rather in awe of what the Chinese policies have accomplished.”