In a mere two decades, China has become Africa's largest economic partner. Across trade, investment, infrastructure, financing and aid, there is no other country with such depth and breadth of engagement in Africa. Africa-China trade increased from US$13 billion in 2001 to US$188 billion in 2015, an average annual growth rate of 21 percent. FDI has grown even faster, from US$1 billion in 2004 to US$35 billion in 2015 at an average annual growth rate of 40 percent. It is estimated that there are currently over 10,000 Chinese businesses in Africa, 90 percent of which are privately owned. These contributions have supported many of Africa's most ambitious infrastructure investments and created long-lasting impact on Africa’s social and economic development.
The foundation believes that the private sector can play a catalytic role in making the market work for the poor by drawing on its innovation and technology platforms, entrepreneurial and scientific talent, commercialization and low cost manufacturing, business model validation and access to large pools of capital. The Chinese private sector, in particular,
brings its experience in creating business models that are effective in developing economies and complex market environments. This, coupled with the strong drive to further strengthen the Africa-China economic relationship, provides significant potential to accelerate investments in health, agriculture and other priority development needs in Africa.
Our Private Sector Engagement work also supports the building of a more favorable investment-enabling environment, particularly for development priority sectors, by supporting research, dialogues, information platforms and other enablers to create more transparency in and awareness of opportunities and impact and drive cross-sector collaborations.
In 2016, we, in partnership with the China Chamber of Commerce of Medical and Health Products Imports and Exports, supported the establishment of HealthCAC, the first internet website that brings African countries' health product needs and Chinese suppliers' information together.
In 2017, we supported the publication of “Dance of the Lions and Dragons” by McKinsey & Co., a large-scale research project based on over 1,000 interviews with Chinese businesses and senior African business and government leaders that provides a fact-based picture of the Africa-China economic relationship.
In addition, we are also working directly with Chinese companies which can help address the unmet demand in Africa for life-changing products and solutions and strengthen the local industry value chains for sustainable development. We draw upon a range of investment tools, including grants, direct equity investments, loans, and volume guarantees etc., to create incentives for the companies.