How do Africans view China’s economic presence on the continent? The latest Afrobarometer survey reports that on average, 63% of Africans surveyed believed China to be a “somewhat” or “very positive” influence in their countries while “only 15% see it as somewhat/very negative.” As Afrobarometer summarized:

Findings from Afrobarometer’s 2014/2015 surveys in 36 African countries, which included a special series of questions on China, suggest that the public holds generally favourable views of economic and assistance activities by China. Africans rank the United States and China No. 1 and 2, respectively, as development models for their own countries. Remarkably, in three of five African regions, China either matches or surpasses the United States in popularity as a development model. In terms of their current influence, the two countries are outpaced only by Africa’s former colonial powers. 

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Deborah Brautigam © 2016

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