Angola Among Countries Were Number of Chinese Fell the Most

The number of Chinese workers across Africa has dropped significantly to its lowest level in more than a decade, with Angola recording one of the steepest falls.

Earlier in 2015, 263,696 workers were recorded on the continent, which drastically declined to 88,371 in 2022,Voice of America reported, citing data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University analysed data from 2009 to 2022 and attributed the drop in numbers partially to the pandemic, as Chinese workers left during that period and the country only reopened in early 2023.

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However, the drop in numbers is also due to a variety of other factors, according to the experts, including oil prices and the downscaling of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s global Belt and Road Initiative, which initially saw thousands of Chinese sent out across the continent to work on large infrastructure projects.

When asked whether the numbers could have rebounded last year and might continue to do so, Deborah Brautigam, director at the China Africa Research Initiative, said, “We have no data for 2023, but anecdotally, we hear that more postponed projects are resuming. Yet we are unlikely to see the high numbers of the past.”

According to the statistics, the five countries with the most Chinese workers in 2022 were Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, reported VOA. While still leading in the number of workers, Algeria and Angola also saw the biggest drops. Angola had a peak of 50,000. However, by 2022, only about 7,000 workers remained in each country.

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The director of the China Africa Research Initiative further said that the huge drops “are explained by the price of oil. They’re both highly reliant on oil exports and they use this oil to pay for nearly all government spending.”


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