Why Chinese Amb to Tanzania, Mingjian thinks Africa is a true ally

(Last Updated On: 15 July 2023)

Dodoma, June 12, 2023: China has become Africa’s other ally and is competing with the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Germany, among others.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in October 2021 said Chinese investment in Africa continues to rise as project values and bilateral trade decline.

“…China has continued to invest heavily across Africa throughout the pandemic. However, some African countries are suspending or scrutinizing contracts with Chinese firms,” IISD added.

As of 2021, China had created 25 economic and trade cooperation zones in 16 African countries and continued to invest heavily across the continent throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese-Africa economic and trade ties report reveals.

“China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for 12 years, even though bilateral trade declined 10.5% to USD 187 billion in 2019, becoming the fourth biggest investor in Africa,” according to IISD.

Further, a report on their investments in Africa shows that the turnover of Chinese enterprises’ contracted projects in Africa amounted to US$ 383.3 billion in 2020, a 16.7% drop from 2019.

“Why we say China is Africa’s true friend, fact speaks for itself,” says Chen Mingjian, Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania.

Quoting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, the ambassador listed what China has built in Africa since 2000. Mingjian lists “over 6,000 kilometres of railway, over 6,000 kilometres of roads, almost 20 ports and over 80 large power facilities”.


She also references that “over 130 hospitals and 170 schools have been built by China on the continent, including 45 sports stadiums”.

On the Chinese trade with Tanzania, Chen says, “I am glad that Guangzhou is on the list of the first routes of Tanzania’s first-ever cargo jet.”

“With this new huge freighter plane, the trade exchanges between China and Tanzania even East Africa will advance to new levels,” she adds.

‘United States for Africa’

In December 2022, President Joe Biden said the United States through USAID would provide US$2b in life-saving assistance to support the people in Africa, subject to the availability of funds.

“In fiscal year 2022 alone, USAID has provided more than $6 billion in lifesaving, multi-sector humanitarian assistance to the people of Africa,” said Joe.


Africa has received a growing share of annual U.S. foreign assistance over the past two decades, accounting for 36 per cent of State Department- and USAID-administered funding allocated for specific regions in fiscal year 2021, Congressional Research Service says.


The funding rose from 31 per cent in 2011 and 10 per cent in 2001. 3 “U.S. assistance for the region grew markedly during the 2000s, the research body adds.

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