China doesn’t need Africa’s minerals. It needs African votes

Eric Olander
By Eric Olander

Managing Editor, The China Africa Project

Posted on Thursday, 10 November 2022 16:15

Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Beijing Summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping (front C), South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (front 3-L), Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-SisiÊ(front 2-L), TogoÕs President Faure GnassingbŽÊ(front L) and other African leaders walk together after a group photo session during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 2018 Beijing Summit in Beijing, China, 03 September 2018.

Many assumed that Africa’s contribution to the global economy was through selling that which comes out of the ground. That was certainly what drew the Chinese to Africa back in the early 2000s. Today, that’s no longer the case.

Chinese customs authorities’ latest oil buying figures show how powerful this trend is. Purchases are down 23% this year alone. China once imported a third of its oil from Africa. Now that figure is just 10% and declining.