First of all I don’t think they are colonizing Africa, Colonization means to dominate the people and there surrounding land, of which I don’t think China is doing that, but all in all, I get what you mean.

I am from a country where in the last 15 years Chinese projects and involvement in our economy has increased tremendously. They have funded numerous infrastructure development projects through grants and soft loans, and we are happy to work with them.

Most people outside Africa rarely understand why most African countries are moving to the East. From my view its all about the west always meddling in sovereign countries internal affairs. Ever since cold war, America and its allies have supported and brought down numerous leaders. I have copied a sample extract from Wikipedia and pasted it below of an example of how sometimes the west meddle in other countries affair:

“Shortly after Congolese independence in 1960, a mutiny broke out in the army, marking the beginning of the Congo Crisis. Lumumba attempted to solicit support from the Soviet Union against Katangan secessionists. This led to growing differences with President Joseph Kasa-Vubu and chief-of-staff Joseph-Désiré Mobutu as well as to foreign opposition from the United States and Belgium. Lumumba was subsequently imprisoned by state authorities under Mobutu and executed by firing squad under the command of Katangan authorities. The United Nations, which he had asked to come to the Congo, did not intervene to save him. Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all been accused of involvement in Lumumba's death, the latter as part of Cold War rivalry with the Soviet Union, a country the Americans were determined should not gain access to Congo's uranium riches used to make nuclear bombs.”

We all know of the numerous attempts the west has ruined peaceful countries and left them more chaotic and highly unstable, look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and the list is endless. All this is done in the name of spreading democracy.

Back to your question, on the other hand, China doesn’t meddle in any countries affair, it doesn’t dictate to you how to run your country. Hence most African countries are beginning to open up to the East (China).

When we were having our election 2013, the west threaten our so called democracy, that if we elected a president with an ICC case, we would face the consequences of our choices.

While China didn’t take sides it left that to the will of the people.

All the above have been achieved with China without them dictating how our political system should be run and by who. That is why China is becoming so influential in Africa.

That’s from the African side but from the Chinese side they also have their own interests globally and that is why they are reaching out to the world too.

PS: Am not saying the west are bad. The above words are my opinion not my country’s opinion on working with China.

Source: QUORA