文 | 智宇琛 中国社科院西亚非洲研究所南非研究中心副秘书长
编辑 | 杨海霞
设计 | 姜灵枝
制作 | 黄硕存
A six-month survey was carried out in which data was collected on 286 large-scale infrastructural projects executed by Chinese companies in Africa in the past five years. The projects covered by the survey involved three main fields: transportation, water conservancy and electricity, building and municipal engineering. The projects in the transportation field included highways and roads, railways and subways, airports, wharves and ports. The water conservancy and electricity projects included dams, water channels, irrigation systems, hydropower stations, thermal power stations, electric transmission lines and electricity substations. The building and municipal engineering projects included urban construction, urban facilities, municipal water supply systems, sewage treatment, government buildings, and health and education buildings. The number and distribution of these projects across African continent are provided in Table.
In east Africa, Chinese companies are largely engaged in transportation infrastructural projects. Examples of their involvement are the railways from Mombasa to Nairobi and from Ethiopia to Djibouti connecting coastal cities with inland agriculture and industrial centres; the highways from Nairobi to Sikha and from Addis Ababa to Adama, 12 roads in Tanzania and eight roads in the north of Ethiopia, the international connecting roads linking the borders of Tanzania and Uganda. All these roads contribute to the traffic network of those countries. Other projects have included the ring road around the city of Nairobi, the subway in Addis Ababa and two airports in Tanzania, all of which facilitate the traffic in and between the main cities.
In terms of water conservancy and electricity, the total investment of Tekeze, Dawa River and FAN Hydropower Station in Ethiopia, Isinbay and Karuma Hydropower Station in Uganda, HGF Water Control Project in Kenya exceeds 5 billion US dollars and the total installed capacity is 2 million kilowatt. The substation and transmission projects from Ethiopia to South Sudan, and those of the Meles and Revival dams are important for the Ethiopian economy. In addition, the Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) ADAMA wind farm project has contributed significantly to the use of new energy in Africa.
In the building and municipal engineering field, Chinese companies are participating in the AU headquarters project and the Nyerere international conference centres which are supported by the Chinese government. The presidential office, in Uganda, and the Dodoma University, in Tanzania, projects have received international acclaim. The water supply systems and sewage treatment stations in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and other cities have brought with them a plentiful and healthy supply of water for the locals.
In southern Africa, the contribution of Chinese companies to the engineering and building of municipal infrastructures is impressive. Municipal infrastructural projects include urban roads, power supply systems, water supply systems and sewage treatments. Communication facilities in 14 cities, including Luanda, Malanje, Quelimane and Maputo, have been successfully executed by Chinese companies. They have also assisted with the building of eight hospitals, 18 schools and universities, more than 10 thousand apartments, and many government buildings in Angola, Zambia and Mozambique, some of these projects being supported by the Chinese government.
In the area of transportation, Chinese companies participate in many important projects following the ‘Angola model’, including the energy corridors in the west of Angola, and the ports of Luanda, Cabinda and Lobito. Also worth attention are the 1833 km of the Benguela and Luanda railways built by Chinese companies to connect with the railways of Zambia and Tanzania and to provide transport from the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean to the hinterland of Africa. In addition to railway lines, China has provided railway products which include locomotives and railroad cars. These have been popular in South Africa and are responsible for over 3 billion US dollars in sales over the past five years. Furthermore, Chinese companies also transfer technology, build product lines and service networks in South Africa.
In the water conservancy and electricity sphere, Chinese companies have participated in the renowned Zambezi River resource utilisation project. The south and north coast of Kariba Lake power stations, the Dick Dam, the Zambia KAEFER Gorge Hydropower Station and the Lesotho Metolong Dam have strategic significance for Zambia, Botswana and Lesotho.
In western Africa, Chinese companies are also playing important role in the construction of electricity industry. The Bouvet and Akosombo Hydropower Station have transformed Ghana into an electricity exporting country; the Soubre Hydropower Station has changed the traditional electric power structure in Côte d’Ivoire. In Nigeria, Chinese companies have not only built four large-scale power stations and established an ALG power transfer programme which provides more than 50% of the electricity in the country, but has also assisted with the construction of the electricity industry through technology transfer, training, and investment in manufacturing.
The construction of medium-scale power stations in Benin, Togo, Mali and Guinea have been highly praised by the presidents and government officials of those countries. In the transportation field, railway lines in Nigeria, from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, Lagos to Kano, and the Coastal Railway through the Niger River Delta oil zone were constructed by a Chinese contractor. Chinese companies also invest in and/or support the construction of ports and wharves such as those of Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, Port Etienne and the Port of Friendship (supported by China) in Mauritania, Port Conakry in Guinea, Lekki Port and the Free Trade Zone in Nigeria.
In the building and municipal engineering sphere, projects representing more than 100 US million dollars each have been carried out by Chinese companies in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire and are highly praised by the local people. In Nigeria, Chinese companies have built apartments for the officials of five state governments and constructed 8 km2 of artificial sandy beach at Port Lagos. In Ghana, the ‘light plan’ has solved the electricity problems of 700 villages in seven states; water supply projects in three main areas are providing healthy water for more than 500 thousand people; and an EPC project has provided 30 thousand welfare apartments, thus improving the living conditions of local people. Through fair competition and bidding, Chinese companies undertake many infrastructural projects with the support of the Chinese Government. These have included the Offices of the Mauritanian President and Administration, an international conference centre, the University of Nouakchott, the Sierra Leone National Grand Theatre, and the Mali Hospital. In addition, Chinese communication companies co-operate with companies from Togo and Nigeria to provide information services for millions of customers.
In central Africa, agreements between African countries and the Chinese financial support sector have resulted in business opportunities for Chinese companies. In the transportation sector, projects with investments of over 100 million US dollars include the national roads N-1 and N-2 connecting Pointe-Noire, Ouesso and Brazzaville Road OBO, Kita connecting with Gabon and Cameroon and, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the main street of Kinshasa, Lumumba Avenue, and Road K-K leading to the Atlantic Ocean in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Although not so large in scale, the hydropower station projects supported by package agreements and export-loans from China are critical to countries in central Africa. The Imboulou Hydroelectric Plant has made the Republic of Congo self-sufficient in terms of electricity. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Zongo Hydroelectric Power Plant is supplying Kinshasa and the Bas-Congo. In Equatorial Guinea, the Djibloho Hydropower Station not only supplies electricity to 25 cities but irrigates thousands acres of farmland. In addition the Manweilai and Songdong hydropower stations in Cameroon and the Bubaha Hydropower Station in Gabon are all important hydroelectric power facilities for those countries.
In the building and municipal engineering field, the package agreements and export loans from China also play important roles. These kinds of agreement support projects such as the water conservancy project in N'Djamena and the sewage disposal system in Malabo, which have solved the drinking water problems of the local people; the national communication network in Cameroon and the Bata power grid in Equatorial Guinea, which promote industrial development; and the central hospital and the People's Palace Square in Kinshasa, which enhance the living conditions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The investment of Chinese companies has also brought with it infrastructural projects such as the Belinga Iron Mine in Gabon, where the Chinese investor has undertaken the railway project from Belinga to Libreville and other ports. The Chinese investor in the development of the Port-Gentil has formed a strategic partnership with the Government of Gabon and is in charge of the construction of related roads, wharves and bridges.
In northern Africa, although Chinese companies face ‘high competition’ and ‘high risk’ situations, they have nonetheless managed good performances in infrastructural cooperation. In the transportation sector, Chinese companies are involved in the ‘two vertical and three horizontal’ high-speed road network which covers the east to Tunis, west to Morocco, north to the Mediterranean and south to the interior of central Africa, as well as the ‘two vertical and one horizontal’ railway network which has increased the transportation efficiency of the south coast of the Mediterranean and of the non-main railway line of Libya. However, when Chinese companies made the bid for these projects, they encountered competition from French, Japanese and US companies. In addition, the instable political situation in Libya caused these companies huge losses.
In the water conservancy and electricity field, Chinese companies have made great progress in Sudan. The Merowe Dam is the longest dam in the world and the second largest hydroelectric power project on the River Nile, which also irrigates more than 25 thousand acres of farmland and thus benefits 4 million people. The reservoir capacity of the Rosyth Dam and the Atbara water conservancy is 70 billion m3 and benefits more than one third of Sudan people. The installed gross capacity of hydroelectric power stations executed by Chinese companies in Sudan is more than 2.43 million kilowatts which is four times what the country had before. In addition, Chinese companies helped to build 300 small-scale dams in a package project to solve local hydropenia problems.
In the building and municipal engineering field, the water supply system from In Salah to Tamanrasset in Algeria is called the Great Century Project, and the high technology used in the Algeria National Stadium has significantly reduced the cost. In addition, the successful construction of the Constantine Marriott Hotel, the Annaba Sheraton Hotel and the Gemma Mosque demonstrate the excellent abilities of Chinese companies.
In summary, infrastructural development has become one of the most important sectors for cooperation between China and Africa. According to preliminary results, projects executed by contractors from China exist in all sub-regions of the African continent. These include more than 6000 miles of roads, 7000 miles of railway lines, 16 ports and approximately 20 city airports, 90% of hydroelectric power stations in the whole continent as well as water and electricity supply systems in more than 30 cities.