Forecasting China-Africa economic integration using Wavelet-ARIMA hybrid approach

Marvellous Ngundu, Reon Matemane

Article ID: 2647
Vol 7, Issue 3, 2023

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China-Africa economic integration generally looks lucid, as evidenced by rising bilateral trade, as well as Chinese FDI, aid, and debt financing for infrastructure development in Africa. The engagement, however, appears to be strategically channeled to benefit China’s resource endowment strategy. First, Chinese FDI in Africa is primarily resource-seeking, with minimum manufacturing value addition. Second, China has successfully replicated the Angola model in other resource-rich African countries, and most infrastructure loans-for-natural resources barter deals are said to be undervalued. There is also a resource-backed loan arrangement in place, in which default Chinese loans are repaid in natural resources. Third, while China claims that its financial aid is critical to Africa’s growth and development processes, a significant portion of the aid is spent on non-development projects such as building parliaments and government buildings. This lend credence to the notion that China uses aid to gain diplomatic recognition from African leaders, with resource-rich and/or institutionally unstable countries being the most targeted. The preceding arguments support why Africa’s exports to China dominate other China’s financial flows to Africa, and consist mainly of natural resources. Accordingly, this study aims to forecast China-Africa economic integration through the lens of China’s demand for natural resources and Africa’s demand for capital, both of which are reflected in Africa’s exports to China. The study used a MODWT-ARIMA hybrid forecasting technique to account for the short period of available China-Africa bilateral trade dataset (1992–2021), and found that Africa’s exports to China are likely to decline from US$ 119.20 billion in 2022 to US$ 13.68 billion in 2026 on average. This finding coincides with a period in which Chinese demand for Africa’s natural resources is expected to decline.


Africa’s exports to China; autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA); China-Africa economic integration; maximal overlap discrete wavelet transform (MODWT)

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