‘Oil for Housing’: Chinese-built New Towns in Angola
China has gained a foothold in the African construction sector through the provision of ‘resources for infrastructure’ loans. The dominance of Chinese companies is particularly evident in mega projects such as railways, major transportation arteries, public buildings, etc.
In Angola, China is also involved in the construction of new urban centres on a scale unequalled by any other foreign partners in Africa. These new urban centres, located on the outskirts of major cities, are meant to address the massive housing shortfall in the country. This policy briefing analyses the Sino–Angolan partnership in the construction of satellite towns in Angola. Based on extensive fieldwork in Angola and China in 2013, it uses the Kilamba Kiaxi flagship project as a case study, highlighting the issues raised by this new urbanisation model in Africa. It argues that despite their invaluable immediate contribution to solving the housing problem, Chinese-built satellite towns face a number of challenges that may affect their sustainability in the medium to long term.