Media frenzy over Angola’s Chinese-built ‘ghost town’

“In Luanda rental prices beat records, and over there a house may cost more than US$20,000 per month,” said Mercer’s Marie-Laurence Sépède in a statement last year.

China’s economic presence in Angola

It is no secret that China has a significant economic presence in Angola. The term ‘neo-colonialism’ has been used and implies that Chinese investment in infrastructure and development comes with deals to exploit Angola’s resources.

Yan Lan, head of Greater China Investment Banking, said at last month’s New York Forum Africa, which took place in Libreville, that, “Africa needs money, needs financing, needs technology and also needs Chinese companies’ experience for their own industrialisation.”

Despite being mineral-rich, Angola is still struggling from the effects of a civil war that came to an end in 2002. For nearly 30 years Angola fell behind in its development, affecting local industry and agricultural production, as well as damaging basic infrastructure. Now, 10 years later, the country is beginning to find its feet, but Angola needs to develop its infrastructure and Chinese investment has been doing just that.

However, while Angola needs China, China also needs Angola. Angola is China’s largest source of oil in Africa.

“China and Africa are mutually needed partners,” said Lan.