China is said to be the largest financier of infrastructure in Africa. Most African nations tend to go to China for loans and various aids, when the need arises. According to China-Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University of Advanced Studies, Africa owes China over $136 billion within the period of 2000 to 2017. Angola is the highest beneficiary to China’s loans on the continent of Africa. They have received a hefty estimated amount of $42.2 billion disbursed over a 17 year period from benevolent China . Followed by Kenya and Nigeria who have received loans of $9.8 billion & $4.83 billion over 17 years respectively and this is definitely a shrug on African development.
At a recent summit between the Chinese government and African leaders, President Xi Jinping has pledged to support African development with $60 billion. He stated that China does not invest in “vanity projects” in Africa; it is just helping Africa to develop its infrastructure. Lots of critics have warned African leaders to desist from taking loans from China, since the high level of debts is making the continent vulnerable to a possible takeover by the Chinese government.
Africa cannot solely rely on aid and external support, if it yearns to develop economically. When we manage our resources and eschew corruption, Africa can develop on its own. We need to invest our resources into our own development and try to avoid foreign aid. These foreign aids become difficult to pay, leaving the continent highly indebted. Many African states owe China for over decades now and are finding it difficult to pay. Africa beyond foreign aid is possible but will require a conscious and actionable effort to thrust it into fruition. Our leaders should champion this course by managing our resources well and eschewing corruption and Africa will develop on its own without aid from China or other external bodies. Africa’s default position of reliance on aid and financial bailouts is definitely not the silver bullet, we so desperately need to unshackle ourselves from plaguing debt. Years of evidence and history have made it clear, that throwing money at a problem is not entirely the solution or financially leveraging resources a permanent problem-resolver. Africa is heavily endowed with resources, it’s high time, we focus on using that to our comparative advantage.
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