Gambling in Sub-Saharan Africa: Energy Security through the Prism of Sino-African Relations

August 4, 2009 | 00:00

Gambling in Sub-Saharan Africa: energy security through the prism of Sino-African relations

China has used its perceived 'blank slate' non-Colonial status to drive its expansion into Africa. Total trade between Africa and China amounted to approximately $73 billion in 2007, compared to a total of $4.8 billion in 1998 (a remarkable 1,277% increase), with oil accounting for 80% of this trade, demonstrating just how successful China has been in its endeavour.

However, Africa is a continent plagued by conflict, making the cost of doing business there one of the highest in the world. Infrastructure is sorely lacking, as is a reliable, functioning legal framework in many countries, with the added stress for business that corruption is often endemic and pervasive. Those who are serious about doing business in Africa have to contend with the notion that security cannot be taken for granted and a substantial amount of the budget needs to be set aside to this end. The report provides an in-depth overview and analysis of the types of security risks found in Africa, using Nigeria as a particular case study.

The report found that Chinese firms are learning the hard way that there is a pertinent need to foster sober risk-assessment and security-management skills, as nobody - not even the Chinese who bank on their policy of "non-interference" to create goodwill - is immune to security risks.

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