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Report finds China influential in Zimbabwe
25/10/2016 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
 
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CHINA today rivals the United States in influence and popularity as a development model in the eyes of Africans, Zimbabweans included, according to the latest Afrobarometer Report.

The Report is based on 54,000 interviews in 36 African countries.

According to the quarterly report, in Southern Africa, China’s influence is perceived to be highest in Zimbabwe (55%).

The important factors contributing to a positive image of China in Africa are its infrastructural development projects, business investments and the affordable cost of its products.

But the quality of those products also gave China’s image a black eye while other political and social considerations also affected the Asian giant’s image on the continent.

Despite media criticism of China’s interests and operations in Africa, most Africans view China’s economic and political activities on the continent as a welcome contribution to their national development, the report said.

“China’s growing presence in Africa wins positive popular reviews,” says the Report.

Key findings in the report show that on average across 36 African countries, China is the second-most-popular model for national development (cited by 24% of respondents), just trailing behind the United States of America (30%).

Countries and regions also vary widely in their admiration for various development models.

“About one in 10 respondents prefer their former colonial power (13%) or South Africa (11%) as a model.” 

“In Southern and North Africa, China matches the United States in popularity, and in Central Africa, China takes the lead (35% vs 27%).

“A plurality of Africans see their former colonial power as wielding the greatest external influence in their country followed by China and the United States,” says the report.

China’s influence is perceived to be highest in Zimbabwe (55%), Mozambique (52%), Sudan (47%), Zambia (47%), South Africa (40%), and Tanzania (40%).

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Africans say China’s influence is “somewhat” or “very” positive, while only 15% see it as somewhat/very negative. Favourable views are most common in Mali (92%), Niger (84%), and Liberia (81%).

A majority (56%) of Africans also see China’s development assistance as doing a “somewhat” or “very” good job of meeting their country’s needs.



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