Although China’s investments in Africa have been criticized by many as being exploitative, the world’s second largest economy has continued its aggressive push towards consolidating its position as Africa’s topmost partner. The latest is a Sh700 million ($7.9 million) luxury hotel in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.
NanChang Hotel is ‘bringing China to Africa’ by offering Chinese-themed guest rooms and Chinese cuisines among other cuisines on the hotel’s menu.
“We have ventured in the private dining concept, which is the new selling point in Nairobi, where people meet as they dine,” said Hilary Siele, general manager of NanChang.
The hotel is owned by Chinese businessmen and is funded by an investment vehicle, Nanchang Investment Company.
With Kenya’s middle class’ robust growth, more Kenyans can afford to spend more resulting in a growing appetite for luxurious services.
The US, like many other opinion makers, however say China is exploiting Africa’s vast mineral and energy resources. The US-Africa Summit held last week is alleged to have been organized to portray America as a better trading partner than China; the overriding message being that the US wants to be Africa’s partner, not patron.
$33 billion new commitments to investment in Africa were announced during the three-day event as the US seeks to return to being Africa’s largest trading partner. China became the continent’s biggest in 2009, surpassing US with over $210 billion invested in as at 2013.
“We don’t look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognise Africa for its greatest resource which is its people and its talents and its potential,” Obama had said at the summit.
“We don’t simply want to extract minerals from the ground for our growth. We want to build partnerships that create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples, that unleash the next era of African growth,” he added.
Regardless of accusations of exploitation, China’s investment in Africa continues to grow, with the Sh700 million hotel the latest of such in Kenya. The East African country had last year signed a $5 billion economic deal with China as the Asian powerhouse continues its Africa-investment dominance. The country’s investment in Africa totalled $248 billion in 2013, according toStandard Chartered Research. This is expected to continue growing. (VENTURES AFRICA)