China 'is biggest lender to Africa'
14 December 2011
China has surpassed the World Bank in terms of the amount of money it lends to developing countries in Africa.
According to Shanghaiist, the Asian country has signed a number of multi-billion dollar deals with some of the world's poorest nations for projects that include road, rail and power station developments.
In Zambia and Angola, billboards, road signs and ATMs now display Chinese characters, with China having extended credit lines of $15 billion (£9.72 billion) to the latter nation.
According to the website, the World Bank lent $11.4 billion to 36 African nations in 2010, while China signed off loans of $13 billion to Ghana alone.
Hannah Erdinger, from Johannesburg-based financial consultancy firm Frontier Advisory, said: "Traditional partners of the continent such as those with colonial links or development partners have moved out of infrastructure financing," leaving a gap to be filled.
The China Railway Group recently signed a $1 billion deal with the Ethiopian Railway Corporation for a new 25 km line in the country.