Africa’s largest trading partners in 2015


1. China $310-$385 billion- Chinese state companies are heavily invested in the extraction of natural resources across the continent, including oil, natural gas, minerals and ores. Roughly a million Chinese have moved to the continent as part of a workforce that has built massive infrastructure projects, ranging from dams and airports to highways and railroads. Africa is also a huge market for Chinese goods, including textiles and cheap electronics. The instruction of the Chinese language is spreading in Africa, and more and more African students are electing to attend Chinese universities for their higher education. Trade with China is larger than trade with all the other countries put together


2. EU $106 billion – Europe’s share of African trade has markedly dipped over the past two decades (as the Financial Times enumerates), and individual European nations have been slow to turn away from an aid-based policy to one more focused on trade — in other words, to follow China’s lead. Officials in Brussels are still struggling to persuade much of the continent to sign on to an Economic Partnership Agreement that would, in effect, create a free-trade area linking the continents.

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3. United States $100 billion –

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4. India $90 billion – There are significant diasporic communities of Indians across the continent, particularly in South Africa and countries in East Africa. Towering Indian statesmen. including the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, found partners and kindred spirits in African independence leaders such as Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah.

The importance of that moral and political solidarity may have faded, but India’s trying aggressively to beef up its economic interests in Africa. Indian officials forecast that combined trade with the continent will eclipse $100 billion by next year. Africa accounts for roughly a 10th of India’s imports. India, like China, is investing in oil exploration projects from South Africa to Libya. The insatiable Indian appetite for jewelry makes mineral-rich Africa a vital source of gold, diamonds and other precious stones. Leading Indian telecom firms have controlling stakes in various parts of Africa.

Unlike the presence of China’s vast state companies, most of India’s dealings in the region are conducted via small or medium private businesses — this means, in many cases, that Indian enterprise is far more integrated into the local African economies than that of China

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5. Brazil $30 billion – Brazil is technically the most “African” country outside Africa and, as the world’s largest Portuguese-speaking country, has natural cause for ties with dynamic, Lusophone nations on the African continent. Under the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who left office in 2011, Brazil noticeably expanded its footprint. In 2010, Lula referred to his country’s “historic debt” to the continent; more than 10 times as many African slaves were brought to Brazil than to the United States during the grim decades of that transatlantic trade.Brazil has 37 embassies in Africa, giving it one of the largest diplomatic presences in the continent. Brasilia, meanwhile, is home to the largest number of African missions in the Southern Hemisphere, according to the Financial Times. Brazil’s annual trade with Africa is around $30 billion —an improvement from less than $5 billion in 2000. Brazilian companies are employing thousands in construction in Angola, investing in coal mines in Mozambique, laying new fiber-optic cable across the ocean floor to West Africa and helping finance a whole slate of development projects from Kenya to Guinea-Bissau. Growing numbers of African students, particularly from Portuguese-speaking nations, are enrolling in Brazilian universities.

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Honorable Mention

6. Turkey $25 billion – In 2002, Turkey’s total trade with Africa was less than $3 billion. Today, the trade volume has reached $25 billion. Turkish Airlines flies to about 40 points in more than 30 African countries. The first Turkey-Africa Media Forum held in May 2012 in Ankara brought together over 300 African journalists from 54 African countries. Hundreds of Turkey scholarships have been offered to African students over the last 10 years. Turkey’s strategic partnership with Africa is in line with Turkey’s multi-dimensional foreign policy outlook. It is also in tune with the perspective of “African solutions to African problems” – a perspective that seeks to overcome Africa’s colonialist history without creating new types of colonialism and political and economic dependence.

Through the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) several Turkish entrepreneurs have sealed business deals on the continent. Similarly, TUSKON has been instrumental in taking African businessmen to Turkey.
There has been an explosion in the number of Turkish tourists visiting Africa. Turkey is also making inroads in education sector with over 100 Turkish schools in 34 African countries and plans are there to set up universities.   According to Prof. Kamer Kasim an expert at the International Strategic Research Organization, Africa provides new market opportunities
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Africa vote crucial for Turkey’s UN seat


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