China commits billions in aid to Africa as part of charm offensive

A story in today’s Guardian newspaper (UK) reveals that the Chinese government has backed 1,700 projects on continent since 2000 in apparent attempt to win favour. The country’s financial commitments are significantly larger than previous estimates.

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Chinese interest in Africa is certainly growing with China Central Television (CCTV) -love the acronym- showing live coverage of this year’s wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, a Chinese billionaire about to build a new luxury lodge in the Serengeti and a major push by both Kenya and Tanzania to boost their number of Chinese tourists.

It isn’t going to happen overnight, but if the Chinese can be persuaded to view Afria’s wildlife as a thing of beauty rather than merely the source of ingredients for traditional medicine it could lead to a slow down in poaching.