Quick Thoughts from Francis Korkor. M.A. Archaeology, Dip Human Resources Management.
The China-African trade relationship is very fair. The only reason some people from Western countries claim it is not fair is because of jealousy. You see, Western Countries were previously used to dictating to African countries what they ought to do, and if the government of a particular African country refused, they were severely punished with either sanction or not giving loans to that country as long as the government that challenged the West was in power.
Now they continued to have this leverage over African countries until suddenly China bumped unto the scene.
Now that China is on the scene as an alternative source of aid to African countries, it means the Western countries are losing their leverage over African countries. This is the actual reason why many Western governments are jealous of the China-African partnership. That is to say, they can no longer bully and threaten the African countries with the refusal of loans and aid if the African governments do not kowtow to the interest of the West because the African countries now have an alternative for loans and aid, which is China.
You see, in 2017 alone, China-African trade increased to $170 billion US dollars. As President Trump continues to put tariffs on Chinese exports, China is gradually turning to Africa to make up the difference. In the end, both Africa and China will benefit, or China alone.
See below some of the fantastic projects either already developed or in development across the African continent:
Now I know that some people will be quick to say China is exploiting Africa.
So let me emphasize here that China is not exploiting Africa. People from some western countries who never before cared about Africa, have suddenly turned themselves into the protector of Africans, and appear to be concerned about the possibility of Africa being exploited, while in actual fact their concerns spring out of jealousy, that the China-African relationship might power these two regions to be able to be at par with the developed countries.
I just listened to BBC Hardtalk, where the host of the program put this exact same question to Ghana’s president Akufo-Addo. The Ghanaian president eloquently explained that China is not exploiting Africa. Rather most African countries and governments have a development plan, and they are looking for a partner Country to help them fund their development programs. He explained that any partnership the various governments engage in, they do so because it is the kind of partnership that fits their development objectives. The African countries don’t even care which country they are dealing with, except that the relationship should benefit the citizenry. As president Akufo-Addo explained during the interview, currently China is the country that provides a plan and relationship, that benefits we the Africans and fit into our development plan.
The USA and other western countries are still partners in development, but their idea of always dabbling in domestic politics and sometimes freezing development aid to African countries to make sure that domestic politics suits their interests has not helped Africa. Contrary, China does not dabble in local domestic politics of African countries. They respect the partner countries, restrict the relationship to only economic, and stay clear of domestic politics. This is what Africa currently needs from our development partners, and that is why Africa is engaging more and more with China instead of the western countries.