"There is a negative narrative of China in Africa," says Anyway Chingwete, co-author of the study and project manager at Afrobarometer and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
in Cape Town, South Africa.
Show me the money
It appears it's not the Chinese culture or language Africans like best. It's the potential financial investment China brings.
When asked which factors contributed most to China's positive image, it was investment in infrastructure that came out on top.
China invests more in Africa
than any other country, with Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Angola among the biggest recipients of Chinese funds.
Infrastructure development, for example highways and railways, is the main area of business for the Chinese in Africa, Chingwete says. They also invest in smaller enterprises and food outlets, according to the report.
Africans also like the Chinese for bringing affordable cars and mobile phones to the continent, says lead author Mogopodi Lekorwe, a professor of Politics at the University of Botswana.
"They used to be very expensive, but because these are now flooding the market, the prices have dropped.
"People can now pick and choose among things that they didn't have access to in the past," he adds.