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China-Africa trade set to keep on booming in 2011

         Date: 2011-10-10

           Tag: China-Africa, China-Africa trade

Summary: The Asian giant is hungry for resources to fuel its expanding economy - and many African nations are determined to feed it in order to trade their way to prosperity.

It has been a bumper year for commerce between China and Africa.

The Asian giant is hungry for resources to fuel its expanding economy - and many African nations are determined to feed it in order to trade their way to prosperity.

The boom in Sino-African trade has caused concern in some circles - but 2011 is expected to see business between the two hit record levels.

It is probably the biggest factor we have most noticed on our travels around the continent for Africa Business Report.

Ethiopia is a good place to see the impact of Chinese investment.

The capital Addis Ababa is a crowded, busy place - not surprising when you consider that Ethiopia is the second most highly populated country in Africa, home to an estimated 88 million people.

The city is alive with construction - everywhere you go you will come across building sites and cranes.

And much of that construction is being done by the Chinese.

Sore point

China - and others - are buying up vast tracts of land to grow food that is sent straight back home.

That has been fuelling resentment amongst Ethiopian farmers.

Agriculture is also proving a sore point elsewhere.

Zambian poultry producers complain that what started out as Chinese investment in the sector has now turned into direct - and unfair - competition.

"These Chinese, they came here as investors," complains one man. "But they are vendors."

The Chinese deny they have any unfair advantage and say they are helping to keep the Zambian poultry market healthy.

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