The activities of China in the African continent have raised a lot of concerns in recent times with critics faulting their intentions which they believe are cheap and shrewd ploys to gain undue dominance in Africa. China has become a major stakeholder in key sectors like Construction, Business, Security, Health, Transportation and even Governance – something many say is China’s bait in achieving its plans to capture Africa.
Those in support of the Asia giants say that China operates a model which is mutually beneficial and this is because the country is genuinely concerned about the plight of Africans whom they seek to partner with, not exploit.
The battle for Africa’s dominance is an open one, and the major contenders – Europe, America, and China have not hidden their interests in becoming the biggest and if possible, a sole partner of the continent. America and China have been at each other’s throat over their activities on the continent.
To match and surpass China’s interest-free debt China-African trade model, America launched the Prosper Africa project – which is an initiative geared towards emphasizing accountability in trade and peacekeeping, as opposed to the ‘predatory’ Chinese and Russian involvement on the continent.
This is why the latest news that China has forgiven Cameroon about $78 million in debt to show support to the country which is battling economic hardship.
China’s decision was announced after a meeting between President Paul Biya and Yang Jiechi, a special representative of the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Yaounde – capital city of Cameroon.
The said amount was due to be repaid in 2018 as part of the country’s estimated $5.7bn total debt burden. The figure is from the public body managing Cameroon’s external debt.
As expected, critics have expressed concerns over the move with Ariel Gnitedem, an economist, telling BBC that it may be a means to further exploit the country’s natural resources.
“China wants to control the sub-regional market and Cameroon is the gateway.
“It is possible they also want a greater share in the enormous natural resources in Cameroon which is essential to feed its home industries,” Gnitedem told the BBC.
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Header Image Credit: cameroon-report.com