The rising China Empire is expanding and dominating global trade and
commerce at a pace that is mind-blowing and voracious that made in China
products have become ubiquitous in all the four corners of the world.
China is neither in charity business nor altruistic adventure but in
making maximum deals with highest returns on her investments. One thing
that is desirable about capitalism is its reciprocal benefits. The players
including money managers, venture capitalist, manufacturers, middle people
and final consumers are getting something in return. China cannot be
blamed for making profits because other participants and players on the
world stage must be responsible for their actions and decisions.
It cannot be denied that the rise of China is good for the world
especially Africa that developed nations have taken for granted. The
international financial agencies including IMF have set up standard and
conditions that Africa cannot unravel. Therefore the presence of China
renders Africa the ample opportunity to make a rational choice. But that
does not mean that China is more benevolent than any other, therefore the
rationalization in certain corners that China is wonderful without sin is
borne out of naivety and sophomoric tendencies.
African countries must realize that loans are not gifts to be kept and
spent without accountability and ramification. These loans African
countries are scrambling from China must be paid back. Therefore it is
intrinsic that Africa saddled with over $200 billion debt must be
extremely careful not be swallowed by Chinese debt. The debt trap is real
and it becomes a reality when a borrower cannot live up to the criteria of
the outstanding loans, interest rates and arrears. This is not a secret or
something to whisper, when it comes to matters of money, African countries
tend to be frivolous, clueless, careless and at worst money imbibers who
mismanage commonwealth at the highest order.
Chinese Loans to Africa
China have pledged and extended billions of dollars for many African
countries to borrow. At the recent China-Africa summit in Beijing, China
doled out $60 billion loan for Africa. I do not have the opportunity to
review the package and procedure for the borrowing and payment. But I
believed that China knows precisely what it wants to accomplished. For
China the loans may be means to an end, probably to plant their feet
firmly on African soil. There is nothing wrong with that provided that
African countries have a pre-plan objective not willfully showing up
without doing their homework.
Questions For Africa
What is Africa’s modus operandi? Is this a loan trap? How is Africa
going to invest the borrowed money and most importantly Africa prepared to
pay it back?
Asking these questions are as important as answering them. Africa must
make sure that this golden opportunity that China presented to them must
be seized and be transformed into a coin of mutual benefits for Africa
and China. The amity between Africa and China that rooted on trade must
be expanded to include educational, health and technological arrangements
that can make a Africa a better place.
I rejects the augment by the naysayers that the loans offered to Africa
by China is to trap Africa in debt. They called it “loan trap diplomacy”
and suggested that the loans will eventually trap Africa in debt;
conversely African countries will be unable to pay back. When that time
comes as they propounded, China will devour Africa natural resources and
Africa will be re-colonized. This is being extreme in judgment in order
to engineer fear in African mind and make them have cold feet on China.
Notwithstanding, Africa must have a plan and be vigilant as an old Igbo
saying goes, “Nobody tells the deaf that the battle have started.”
Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have
appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other
important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in
many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning
including Harvard Education and Oxford University. Africa Political &
Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center
whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy
debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise,
democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict
resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.
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