According to official figures released on Thursday by Chinese leaders, trade between Africa and China is shooting up by 19 percent every year.

In the first half of 2017, they totaled more than $85.3 billion in value. Chinese imports from Africa almost doubled by an estimated 46 percent, compared to the same period a year ago, reaching around $38.4 billion.

Their exports to Africa rebounded by three percent to stand at close to $47 billion.

The upward trend in exports from the Asian giant to African countries was driven mainly by the shipbuilding, railway and aeronautics sectors, which rose sharply by 200, 161 and 252 percent respectively.

While the Chinese authorities have explained the reasons for the three percent increase in exports to Africa, they did not report on the 46 percent increase in imports, which is believed to be the result of a recovery in the prices of certain raw materials, particularly hydrocarbons.

China has become Africa’s largest trading partner since 2009.

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