China is viewed by African youth as being one of the most influential countries and institutions in Africa, according to a survey commissioned by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation.
The survey, titled African Youth Survey 2020, saw 4,200 young people aged 18-24 interviewed in 14 African countries: Congo Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The survey reported that 74 percent of respondents said that China was one of the nations, internationally, which held a significant sway in the continent.
China ranked second only to the United States, which was marginally ahead with 79 percent of respondents saying it was one of the most influential countries.
However, China scored more favourably compared to continental unions such as the African Union and the European Union, which came in third and fourth respectively.
The report also sought views of the youth on which countries and institutions which have positive influences on the continent.
“When confronted with the influence of particular countries, however, an overwhelming majority of African youth are positive,” the survey said.
China scored highly with 79 percent of respondents saying that the world’s second-largest economy was one of the international countries whose effect on the continent was good. China was third in the list only behind the United States (83 percent) and the United Kingdom (82 percent).
China has built more than 6,000 kilometers of railways and roads as well as nearly 20 ports and large power stations in Africa. Such infrastructure has boosted Africa’s industrialization and enhanced its self-reliance capacity.
China is currently Africa’s largest trading partner and one of its major development partners having financed and constructed several mega-infrastructure projects around the continent. China has also offered aid in terms of money and expertise to Africa with the most recent coming during Africa’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey also found that Chinese President Xi Jinping was identified as one of the international leaders who was seen by African youth as being a primary driver of their future in the next five years.
President Xi’s time in office has seen a significant strengthening of bilateral ties between China and Africa. Indeed, in March 2013, Xi chose Africa to be the destination of his first overseas visit as president of China.