From McKinsey Quarterly [registration required for full article]:
The debate over China’s role in Africa continues to rage. One side contends that China is a rapacious neocolonial oppressor, while the other sees it as a miraculous alternative to decades of failed Western aid. To a large extent, however, facts on the ground have rendered this debate academic: China already has become an indisputably significant force in Africa’s development, with substantially increased commitments and engagements just in the past few years. Pragmatism argues for moving the discussion ahead, to how China’s involvement can reap the greatest benefit for both Africans and Chinese.
African and Chinese leaders—along with interested outside parties, such as multilaterals, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)—should focus on three opportunities. The first is strengthening Africa’s economic-development strategies and capabilities at the national and regional levels. Second, China’s willingness to undertake additional strategic-development projects in Africa, including the recent emphasis on sustainable and results-driven models, should be supported. Finally, collaboration between Chinese institutions working in Africa and other donors or partners ought to be developed and encouraged.