China rivalled US for aid to Africa since 2000

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 May, 2013, 4:03am

China committed more than US$75 billion to Africa in the past decade, coming close to the level of US money although the nature of Beijing's support was far different, a study said.

The database released by the Center for Global Development on Monday aims to be the most comprehensive account yet of foreign assistance by China, which has faced criticism in Western countries suspicious of Beijing's motives.

The report found that China committed US$75.4 billion to Africa from 2000-11 - just under the US$90 billion by the United States - and representing about one-fifth of the total from all major donor nations.

But the researchers said that only around US$1.1 billion a year from China was official development assistance as defined by the club of major donors under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The most Chinese money went to debt relief, followed by transport and storage projects and agriculture.

Items ranged from a defence college in Zimbabwe, whose leader Robert Mugabe is a pariah in the West, to an opera house in Algeria. Ghana was the top recipient, although Beijing gave widely across the continent - except to countries that recognise Taiwan.