Our figure of the month 11/2018: Export volume to Africa – China's dominance

In August of this year, Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria along with a business delegation with the aim of developing partnerships with West Africa. Almost at the same time, British Prime Minister Theresa May visited the African continent. This was followed in November by the China-Africa Summit in Beijing, attended by 50 of Africa's 55 heads of state.

Suddenly everyone wants to go to Africa, conquer the continent's markets for their own economy, provide development aid or slow down the flow of migration. However, Germany’s interest comes late and is too small. China became involved in Africa at a very early stage and with sustained consistency. With almost 4 times the export volume, China's dominance on the African continent is almost unassailable. To make matters worse, China has deposited its footprint in almost all African countries – while Germany concentrates primarily on South Africa and the Maghreb countries.


China's exports to Africa are also rising continuously and dynamically. Although China's export volume to Africa is also relatively low at 4.6 % compared with the volume to other world regions such as Europe, Asia or America, Africa’s share in China’s export structure is also increasing.

However, the product specific export structure shows that Germany’s and China’s trade with Africa is at least partially complementary to each other. Many product groups that Germany primarily offers in Africa do not belong in China's export portfolio.

More details on Germany's export relationship with the African continent can be found in the short message 2018/03.

Other figures can be found here.

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