Africa: China will Hold on

3 min
Stephane Colliac
Stephane Colliac

Financing in Africa is changing its pattern, with a declining share of FDI inflows (down -20% in 2017, to USD42bn). Debt is set to become the main source of inflows in 2018. Eurobond issuance was about USD22bn YTD, well above all past year-end figures. More debt and less FDI is not exactly seen as the right financing mix to fund basic infrastructure needs. Moreover, some countries (e.g. Congo Rep. or Angola) are currently trapped in high debt ratios (with a high share of bilateral loans) which is detrimental for growth. China has just pledged loans of USD60bn within the next three years, exactly the same amount of financial support pledged in 2015. However, the nature of support is likely to change, with less concessional (or interest-free) loans (USD15bn instead of USD40bn) and more funds for development and trade finance (USD15bn instead of USD5bn). But these official declarations are not the full story. Overall, we calculated that the Belt and Road Initiative drove about USD280bn to the Middle East and Africa in the past five years.