Cabo Verde and Mozambique are among the most favourable African countries to the economic and political interests of China, and especially value investment in infrastructure and business, according to the first survey on the subject in Africa.
The Afrobarometer survey, which reveals a generally positive reception by Africans to Chinese interests, places, in the chapter on the welcoming the economic and political influence of China, Cabo Verde in 5th place with 78% of positive reviews and only 5% negative.
Also in this chapter, Mozambique appears above the average, with 65% of positive reviews and only 9% negative and the third Portuguese-speaking country included in the study, Sao Tome and Principe, the balance of opinion is also highly favourable – 53% positive and 6% negative – although there are no diplomatic relations between the archipelago and China.
“In particular, the investments it makes in the development of infrastructure and business, as well as its low-cost products, contribute to positive perceptions of China,” the report said.
“Most (Africans) value the development aid provided by China and see its influence as more rewarding than detrimental to the development prospects of their countries,” it said.
Cabo Verde is also among the countries where the influence perceived by its citizens is higher: 78% say it is significant and only 9% reduced.
In Mozambique, 68% of respondents identify significant influence and 11% reduced influence, which results are higher than in Sao Tome and Principe, the last in this ranking, with 17% pointing to a reduced influence and 43% in the opposite direction.
In relation to the main external influences identified, all Portuguese-speaking countries are below average in terms of China’s influence.
Among the citizens of these countries, Mozambicans (52%) are those that identify a greater Chinese influence (compared with only 8% of the United States and 5% of the former colonial power, Portugal), followed by Sao Tome (24% China, 17% Portugal) and Cabo Verde (25% Portugal, 27% China and 31% the United States).
Regarding the perception of China and the United States as development models, Mozambicans strongly favour the Chinese model (36% compared to 15% who prefer the US, the Sao Tome population is divided, with a slight preference for the US and Cape Verdeans with a strong preference for the US.
“For Africans, China rivals the United States in influence and popularity as a development model,” says the study.
“Despite frequent criticism in the media about Chinese interests in Africa,” it says, “Africans see the emergence of China as a positive addition to the economic playing field.” (macauhub)