10 African Countries with the Highest Chinese Population


Over the years, Africa has seen a rapid growth in the number of Chinese immigrants that are moving to the continent. Most of the Chinese moving to the continent are doing this because of economic opportunities. When they first started arriving in Africa, the majority of them came as contract laborers. However, as time goes on, they continued migrating, living and working in Africa.  No one knows the number of Chinese that are all over Africa but they are about 2 million or even more. They started settling in the late 19th and early 20th century. Presently, there is still continuous migration to the continent to pursue various economic opportunities.

Some of the Africa countries where Chinese are moving to are South Africa, Zambia, Madagascar, Sudan, Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Angola, Uganda, Algeria, Chad, Mauritius, Namibia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Egypt, and Mozambique. There are also thousands of Chinese in other Africa countries like Guinea, Djibouti, Niger, Mali, Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Malawi, Senegal, Togo, Botswana, and Cameroon. Large numbers of Chinese are migrating to Africa to work and live. This post is going to mention the top 10 African countries that Chinese are moving to.

10 African countries with the highest Chinese population


The largest population on the continent of Africa is in Ghana. Chinese people began migrating to Ghana since 1940s and most of them came from Hong Kong. However, they began to migrate from mainland China in the 1980s. Although there is no exact value of the number of Chinese currently living in Ghana, they are estimated to be about 700,000. This means that about 2.4 percent of those living in Ghana are Chinese. Ghana is hosting the highest population of Chinese in Africa as a whole.

South Africa

According To Wikipedia, there are about 400,000 Chinese currently working and living in South Africa. There have been different waves of migration of the Chinese people to South Africa over the years. They have establishes various multi-lingual and multi-generational communities of Chinese in the country. Over the years, they have settled in various parts of the currently. The new migrants from China are settling in rural towns in South Africa. South Africa has the second highest Chinese population in the whole of Africa.


In 1862, the first Chinese migrant arrived Tamatave, Madagascar which is now known as Toamasina. The man settled in the country and got married to a local woman. Four years after his arrival, 6 other Chinese came to Nosy Be and then in 1872, three more arrived. Then in 1894, fourteen other arrived Mahajanga and then in 1896, five hundred Chinese arrived Tamatave. A year later, laborers were transported from China to Madagascar to work on a railway construction. The total number of Chinese living in the country back in 2011 was about 100,000. They mostly live in Toamasina and Antananarivo. The population of Chinese in Madagascar forms the third highest Chinese population in Africa.


The population of Chinese people living in Zambia living in the country has grown rapidly over the years. It began in 1970 with the largest aid project in Zambia which is the construction of the TAZARA Railway in Zambia. The construction saw thousands of Chinese workers migrating through the country. As of September 2014, it was reported that there were about 19,845 Chinese living in Zambia. However, the number has increased rapidly over the years. As at 2019, it was reported that there were about 80,000 Chinese living in the country. This means that they have the fourth highest Chinese population in Africa.


The relationship between Sudan and China is referred to as a bilateral relation. China is the largest trade partners in Sudan with oil import and exporting low cost manufactured items. They enjoy relationship in diplomacy, political strategy, and economic trades. This diplomatic relations began in 1959 after Sudan recognized China’s sovereignty. Both countries are global allies and have supported themselves during crises and international controversies. Sudan houses about 74,000 Chinese. The country is holding the fifth highest Chinese population in Africa.


The number of Chinese people living in Ethiopia has risen over the years. There are about 60,000 Chinese living in the country. The Chinese community in the country works mostly in railway, telecom, and businesses. According to the Chinese ambassador, the Chinese community in the country has created about one million local jobs. Ethiopia has the sixth highest Chinese population in Africa.


The total number of Chinese living in Angola is about 50,000. There have been lots of speculations that the population is extremely larger than this. China is the biggest trade partner of Angola and their fourth largest importer. In 2011, the country became the second largest crude oil provider and second largest trade partner in 2011. That same year, their bilateral trade was about $27.67 billion. China has lots of investments in Angola. They have investments in schools, hospitals, agriculture, and so on. Chinese have migrated to the country to purchase economic opportunities. Angola has the seven highest population of Chinese in Africa.


Chinese migrating to Kenya can be traced back to the 20th century. Back in 1996, there were few Chinese in the country and there was only one Chinese restaurant in the country which was located in Nairobi, the capital city. However, about 11 years after that, Kenya had up to forty Chinese restaurants. Most of those restaurants were opened by expatriates from China. A considerable population is living around the Chinese embassy in the country. The two popular lines of business for Chinese living in Kenya are TCM clinics and restaurants. Furthermore, they also run import and export businesses in different items. There is also a Chinese community school in China and it has about 20 teachers and 200 students. There are about 50,000 Chinese people living in Kenya. Kenya has the 8th highest Chinese population in Africa.


Another Africa country with large concentration of Chinese is Nigeria. There are migrants who moved to the country and also those that were born in the country but have Chinese ancestry. Back in 1930, it was revealed that about four Chinese people were living in Nigeria. However, as years passed by and many Hong Kong investors began to build factories, the population gradually increased. There were about 200 Chinese living in Nigeria as at 1965, then in 111, they increased to 5,800. There were also migrants from Hong Kong and Taiwan moving to the country. About 50,000 Chinese are living in Nigeria currently and this means that the country has the ninth highest Chinese population in Africa.


Another African country with high population of Chinese is Uganda. In 2007, there were about 7,000 Chinese living in the country but it has increase rapidly as years move by. The total population is estimated to be almost 50,000. The major expansion began in 2005 after Chinese investors included restaurant and hotel. Five years later, their investments ranked to second coming just after United Kingdom.  Uganda is the tenth country in Africa with the highest Chinese population.


In summary, there is a high population of Chinese living all over Africa. They migrate from different parts of China and settle all over Africa. The population rate has been increasing over the years as they keep seeking for economic opportunities.

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