Sunday, February 11, 2024

China's Stadium Diplomacy in Africa

 The New York Times published on 10 February 2024 an article titled "China Keeps Building Stadiums in Africa.  But at What Cost?" by Elian Peltier.

China has been building sports stadiums across Africa for decades.  One of the most recent ones is in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, which is hosting the month-long Africa Cup of Nations.  Most of these stadiums are donations from China or financed through soft loans from Chinese banks.  

At the same time, there are some downsides.  China rarely delivers the infrastructure to support the stadiums or the funding and know-how to maintain them.  Some of the largest stadiums such as the one in Gabon constructed for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations host subsequent events with many empty seats.