The ability of Chinese companies to move quickly on infrastructure deals keeps it ahead of the pack in the race to capture growing African infrastructure spending.
With the first tranche of the $649 million financing now available, Ghana is moving very fast to build the infrastructure projects promised as part of the controversial bauxite deal that it recently finalized with the state-owned Chinese construction conglomerate Sinohydro.
The agreement stipulated that Ghana would sell 5% of its bauxite reserves in exchange for $2 billion in infrastructure development.
Now, less than 18 months after negotiations for this bauxite deal began, road construction is getting underway.
Beijing’s ability to move this fast, from negotiations to shovels in the ground, highlights one of China’s key advantages over the U.S., European and Japanese rivals who have all said they’d like to capture some of the African infrastructure market from the Chinese.