Take the example of Angola. There is still considerable poverty in that country. Even so, the economy is growing rapidly (thanks to its oil reserves) to the point that Portugal, the old colonial power, recently asked Angola for economic help. It is now wealthy Angolans who are buying up prime real estate in economically depressed Portugal.
|A car dealership in Luanda, Angola|
The daughter of the Angolan president has become Africa's first female billionaire.
And it is China which is now the overseas power most active in Angola. China has been described as the new colonial power in Africa, with an estimated 1,000,000 Chinese moving there:
There have also been riots in Zambia, Angola and Congo over the flood of Chinese immigrant workers. The Chinese do not use African labour where possible, saying black Africans are lazy and unskilled.
In Angola, the government has agreed that 70 per cent of tendered public works must go to Chinese firms, most of which do not employ Angolans.
As well as enticing hundreds of thousands to settle in Africa, they have even shipped Chinese prisoners to produce the goods cheaply.
In Kenya, for example, only ten textile factories are still producing, compared with 200 factories five years ago, as China undercuts locals in the production of 'African' souvenirs.
|A Chinese overseer in Zambia|
The row over aid spending intensified yesterday when it emerged Britain is pumping more than a billion pounds into oil-rich Nigeria which has plans to put a man in space.
But taxpayers are also funding aid programmes in South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Kenya – all of which have their own space agencies. Many are in their early stages, but include ambitious and expensive plans for satellites and even rockets.
Over the five years of this Government, the four nations will receive more than £1.5billion from British taxpayers.
I think it's worth being aware of these trends. There are some who have wanted to make Europeans believe that they are responsible for poverty in Africa. But there is now a very wealthy black elite in these nations: they are the ones who hold the power and the wealth. And if there is a colonial power it is now very clearly the Chinese rather than any Western country.