Briefing Paper

‘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.”