Use the drop-down boxes above to navigate through the Website  
Return to Reasoning List

Here is a link to this page:

Sino-African Partnership: A ray of hope

1 - 1011 - 2021 - 23
Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: JAH Child Sent: 1/9/2019 6:08:30 AM

Yes Nesta that must be true, because the voices of those I am speaking of have not made a difference in the plan moving ahead, despite some of them going to great lengths to stop its progress. So there must be people on the other side whose voices are heard more, especially in the political leadership.

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 1/9/2019 7:03:08 AM

Yeah, what they call "progress", even when it provides employment and economic development opportunities, always seems to come with winners and losers. Before expatriating from the USA, i spent my adult life in the Pacific Northwest and i hated it every time they cut down another forest. I didn't care if it meant progress or jobs, it was just destruction to me so i protested. Nevertheless, they kept on cutting them down, bulldozing and building....seems like there are always trade offs.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 1/9/2019 2:54:07 PM

InI voices don't get heard Jah Child because there is always someone in a high position who will sell out for short termism and profit.

As a Garveyite I could never agree with Nesta.


How have China helped other countries? Again this hasn't been addressed.

If help comes at a cost (with interest) is this help? Loan sharks and credit companies work in similar ways . And that is what this conversation comes down to - LOANS. Western countries with the IMF have extorted African countries for decades with high interest, and this is following the debts many countries were already left with post colonialism. China's loans tend to be with less interest but are backed by natural resources such as the oil backed loans of Angola. So 1 backra wants cash debt the other backra wants less cash debt but Africa's natural resources?

Rastafari shoud see past arguing over which loan company is best. SELF SUSTAINANCE please

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 1/10/2019 12:26:06 AM

Actually, Chinese involvement in trying to promote constructive Sino-Africans relations is much more than loans. While infrastructure financing is one of the most publicized aspects of the relationship between China and the nations of Africa, the biggest story is really business investment to enhance existing business enterprises and to build new ones. These are shared business risk endeavors in which Chinese investment is not collateralized (i.e., it depends on the success of the African businesses). China is also actively engaged in sponsoring education and vocational training, technology transfers, medical missions, and cultural exchanges. The flip side of the loans perspective is that China has also provided debt relief and debt cancellations to African nations.

The point is simply that the are a number of good things coming out of Chinese initiatives to engage Africa and create opportunities for Africans. I concede the element of Babylon in all of this and that a lot of it is capitalism at its root (hence serving the mammon, not Jah); but it's overly negative to tar all of the efforts made by many different Chinese people and initiatives as all being nefarious. Sincere & ethical people with sincerely positive motives come in all different shapes, sizes, genders and colors from all different ethnic backgrounds and nations.

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 1/10/2019 4:14:02 AM

Africa has every right to learn from past endevors with the outside world and look upon any helping hand with mistrust. If your point here is that there are SOME Chinese people and business who wish to only offer aid without any interest or collateral then I agree. Equally there have always been ones like this throughout the western involvement with Africa too. These ones should be applauded

But the bigger message is one of Africa helping Africa and not needing or really even wanting foreign aid or foreign involvement in domestic affairs. Self SUSTAINANCE over charity.

We Africans are simply sick to death and tired of the story of the foreign super hero coming down to save poor Africa; just as we are sick of the trickster stories of swapping land for foreign help whether in the form of religion guns or highways. More and more Africans are being awoken to the ideas of independence. Domestic trade and relations between African countries which lets not forget was what HIM was all about for me should always be placed higher than foreign support even if in the form of aid.

By the way - Your initial post is quite different to your last post. You first post honestly did try to paint the whole brush of Chinese - African relations being all positive and all beneficial for Africa. And was more focused on competing and comparing this to EuroAmerican-African relations. At least in your last post you do concede to the fact that this isn't always the case

Messenger: GARVEYS AFRICA Sent: 1/10/2019 4:34:48 AM

China / European / American intentions are rarely to compete for African natural resources on the open market but to OWN them and their associated infrastructure to control supply. This is where my problem lies.

The main... not the sole.... But the main reason for Chinese interest in Africa is due to China being reliant on foreign resources. The next conversation needs to be specific into each Chinese - African endevor as to how these resources a4e being obtained

An example of what I was referring to in the first paragraph:

"In 2008 China signed a long-term infrastructure
development agreement with Democratic Republic of Congo worth over $9 billion (Whewell, 2008). At the same time,
the DRC national mining company, Gecamines, agreed to ease the major mining company, Katanga Mining Ltd., out of
the two key copper deposits, Mashamba West and Dikuluwe in the copper-cobalt belt, paying Katanga the equivalent
of $825 million and granting the concessions to a Chinese company. Interestingly, the deposits were not scheduled to
produce copper until at least 2020, and China could not bring them into production for at least five years (Katanga,

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 1/10/2019 5:52:20 AM

The intended point of my initial post (whether i succeeded or not in communicating it) was to highlight the differences between the Western mindset and attendant actions in its approach to diplomacy and doing business with Africa versus those of the Chinese. This difference is rooted in a Chinese/Eastern culture which is thousands of years old and which the West has a difficult time relating to or understanding.

It is precisely the shared Sino-African risk business ventures which demonstrate that Chinese business men and women aren't coming "to save poor Africa". They're investing capital which both they and their African partners stand to lose if they cannot work cooperatively to cultivate viable businesses. In contrast to European colonialism, such business collaboration in conjunction with ongoing technology transfers permanently impart knowledge & experience that Africans will use to create their own economic development independent of foreign partners and/or investment.

Like any generalization, my point was never intended to suggest that every undertaking by Chinese interests in Africa is homogeneously or universally positive; just that, in general, the Chinese mindset in its approach to doing business with Africa is much healthier than the West's approach has been historically. If we want to give credit to the West for teaching the Chinese and Africans by example that its approach to African economic interactions has been wrong-headed and counterproductive, I have no problem with that.

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/7/2019 11:45:32 AM


The tiny fishing village of Bagamoyo is set to become Africa’s largest port in a $10bn Chinese development. Are locals right to be optimistic?

Nick Van Mead in Bagamoyo, Tanzania
Tue 31 Jul 2018

As their hand-built wooden dhow approaches the shore, Ibrahim Chamume and his fellow fishermen take in the sail and prepare to sell their catch to the small huddle of villagers waiting on the white sand. He has been making a living like this on the Indian Ocean since he was 14. His father was a fisherman, too.

Now in his 30s, Ibrahim says earning enough from traditional fishing is tough, but has its compensations. There is the view across the tranquil lagoon to the mangrove swamps; the unspoiled beaches and bays; the lush vegetation and smallholdings growing maize, cassava, cashews and mango. Such scenes must have played out in the tiny Tanzanian village of Mlingotini for centuries.

In a decade, however, the mud-and-thatch homes of Mlingotini, and a further four villages along this coastline 30 miles north of Dar Es Salaam, will be gone – razed to make space for a $10bn Chinese-built mega-port and a special economic zone backed by an Omani sovereign wealth fund.

The area south of Bagamoyo – once notorious as a key staging point in the slave trade and unsuccessfully proposed 12 years ago as a world heritage site– is seen by China as a new Shenzhen. Before Deng Xiaoping designated Shenzhen as China’s first special economic zone in 1979, it, too, was just a small fishing town. Now it is a hi-tech hub and one of the world’s biggest cities.

Bagamoyo, if the project goes ahead as planned, will be transformed into the largest port in Africa. That is looking ever more likely: after years of delay, the Tanzanian government says it is in the final stages of talks with state-run China Merchants Holdings International.

IMAGE ABOVE: The masterplan for Bagamoyo special economic zone.

The lagoon will be dredged, to allow access to the vast cargo ships that will queue many miles out to sea. As for the special economic zone, the original masterplan shows factories in a fenced-off industrial area, and apartment blocks to accommodate the estimated future population of 75,000. There is even talk of an international airport. Many of the villagers have already accepted compensation for the loss of their homes.

The comparison with Shenzhen may not be so far-fetched, says the China-Africa specialist Lauren Johnston of New South Economics. “Would visitors to Shenzhen in 1980 have believed what would be unlocked by that sleepy port?” she says. “Bagamoyo could become an industrial gateway not only for youth-filled Tanzania but half a dozen landlocked African countries. There are parallels.”

The proposed radical transformation of the Bagamoyo coastline is an unofficial extension to east Africa as part of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative – and is just the latest in a long line of China-in-Africa projects. Ahead of next month’s China-Africa summit, foreign minister Wang Yi is inviting African leaders to “get on board the fast train of development”.

It is now nine years since China overtook the US as Africa’s largest trading partner. Although Kenya and Ethiopia were the only two African nations among the 30 countries signing economic and trade agreements at the Belt and Road Forum (Barf) in Beijing in May last year, China has been busy on the continent.

The flagship Belt and Road project is Kenya’s 290-mile railway from the capital, Nairobi, to the port city of Mombasa, which opened to the public last year. There are plans to extend that network into South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi; it was already the country’s largest infrastructure project since independence.

Meanwhile, landlocked Ethiopia got a 470-mile electric railway from its capital, Addis Ababa, to the port in the neighbouring dictatorship of Djibouti. The £2.5bn project – financed by a Chinese bank and built by Chinese companies – opened in January. Addis’s new light rail system, too, was funded and built by China, and operated by Shenzhen Metro Group. And Djibouti, in exchange for major investments, preferential loans, a pipeline and two airports, got China’s first overseas military base.

While east Africa has been the main focus of Belt and Road on the continent, Chinese infrastructure projects stretch all the way to Angola and Nigeria, with ports planned along the coast from Dakar to Libreville and Lagos. Beijing has also signalled its support for the African Union’s proposal of a pan-African high-speed rail network.
Where does China in Africa end, and Belt and Road begin? Professor Steve Tsang, director of the Soas China Institute, says the definition is vague – but getting too caught up in that misses the point. “If you’d like a project to be Belt and Road, it can be Belt and Road,” he says. “You can fit anything into it. It’s a way of getting support for your project.”

The new port of Bagamoyo could see the revival of what Tsang calls “the very first China in Africa mega-project”: the Tazara railway line, stretching from the copper mines of Zambia to Dar Es Salaam.
Tazara dates back to the 1960s, when Chairman Mao Zedong won friends on the continent by supporting anti-colonial movements such as that of Julius Nyerere in Tanzania. The 1,100-mile railway opened to much fanfare in 1976 – it was the first infrastructure project conceived on a pan-African scale.

Four decades later, the once-grand station in Dar Es Salaam stands empty most days, its missing ceiling panels exposing rotting beams and allowing water to pool on the floor. Two rusty trains a week rattle up and down the line. In the cavernous main hall, a few people wait under broken TV screens for an express service which is running nine hours late.

But the old line could “shine again”, promised former Chinese ambassador Lu Youqing. There is a proposed extension to Bagamoyo, and a plan to link a revamped Tazara to landlocked Malawi, Rwanda, and Burundi. The railway’s chief executive has talked excitedly of 125mph trains.

The key difference is that Tazara was mostly paid for by Chinese aid money – a significant investment given how impoverished China was at the time. Whether branded Belt and Road or not, virtually every new project is now funded by Chinese commercial loans.

There have been concerns about these loans. Research by the Centre for Global Development found Djibouti was among eight Belt and Road countries significantly or highly vulnerable to debt distress from the loans – with IMF figures showing its public external debt swelling from 50% to 85% of GDP in two years. Before his visit to Africa in March, former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson accused China of predatory loan practices; when she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton warned of China’s “new colonialism”. Four months into the job, Tillerson’s successor Mike Pompeo is yet to visit.

Though China loaned a whopping $95.5bn on the continent between 2000 and 2015, researchers at the China Africa Research Initiative found most of this was spent addressing Africa’s infrastructure gap. Some 40% of the Chinese loans paid for power projects, and another 30% went on modernising transport infrastructure. The loans were at comparatively low interest rates and with long repayment periods.
“The risk for African borrowers relates to the project’s profitability,” says Cari director Deborah Bräutigam. “Will they be able to generate enough economic activity through these projects to repay these loans? Or are the projects seen more as ribbon-cutting opportunities? The Chinese believe that ports and special economic zones are a ‘win-win’ development tool. It’s what they did at home at an earlier stage of their development.”

Fishermen Ibrahim Chamume and Ramadan Hamis on the beach at Mlingotini, the future site of a $10bn Chinese-built mega-port.
Many African people certainly see grounds for optimism. Almost two-thirds of Tanzanians view China favourably, compared with less than half of Europeans and Americans, according to the Pew Research Center.

As Bagamoyo readies for a seismic transformation from sleepy town to mega-port, the residents seem to feel unanimously positive. From the taxi drivers in the old town in their starched white kanzu cotton robes to the fashionable young restaurant manager, all were confident they would profit from more businesses, more offices, more jobs, more money. The original masterplanincludes talk of schools and health centres, playgrounds and fibre-optic broadband.

Even the fishermen – whose quiet lives look set to be turned upside down – seem optimistic. Despite concerns that the compensation already paid in connection with the special economic zone was not enough to relocate, most thought the new wealth would somehow trickle down. “It will bring many benefits,” says Ibrahim Chamume as we shelter under a thatched roof from a tropical downpour. His first child died young but he and his wife hope to have more. “Even if I do not prosper, they will.”

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/10/2019 7:12:38 AM

The Chinese-built Democratic Republic of Congo government complex in Kinshasa was completed in December 2017

Chinese aid for construction of the Togo Parliament House

Zimbabwe starts building new China-funded parliament building

Messenger: Nesta1 Sent: 3/19/2019 10:39:57 PM


By Deborah Bräutigam***
April 12, 2018

Loans from China helped Uganda build a speedy new road to its main airport. (Reuters)

In Washington, Republicans and Democrats generally look at China as a new imperial power in Africa: bad news for Africans. But is this really the case?
Just before his visit to Africa last month, former secretary of state Rex Tillerson accused China of using “predatory loan practices,” undermining growth and creating “few if any jobs” on the continent. In Ethiopia, Tillerson charged the Chinese with providing “opaque” project loans that boost debt without providing significant training. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton sang the same tune, warning Africans to beware of this “new colonialism.” China, we are often told, is bringing in all its own workers or “grabbing” African land to grow food to send back to feed China.
But researchers who have explored China’s role in Africa suggest that many of the things our politicians believe about Chinese engagement are not actually true.


Take jobs and training. Lina Benabdallah, a political science professor at Wake Forest University, studies Chinese investments in African human resource development programs. “Africans are being invited to Chinese universities. China is offering scholarships,” she said. “When Africans are thinking about technology [and] skills, they are thinking of China as a valid option.”
Surveys of employment on Chinese projects in Africa repeatedly find that three-quarters or more of the workers are, in fact, local. This makes business sense. In China, textile workers now earn about $500 a month — far more than workers in most African countries. Chinese investors flocking to set up factories in low-cost countries like Ethiopia are not thinking about importing Chinese workers. Like U.S. and European factory owners who moved their factories to China in past decades, Chinese firms are now outsourcing their own manufacturing to cheaper countries.


Are the Chinese engaging in predatory lending? Here, researchers can also shine light on a murky subject. Scholars at Boston University and Johns Hopkins University have been painstakingly assembling databases of Chinese loans provided since 2000.
In Africa, we found that China had lent at least $95.5 billion between 2000 and 2015. That’s a lot of debt. Yet by and large, the Chinese loans in our database were performing a useful service: financing Africa’s serious infrastructure gap. On a continent where over 600 million Africans have no access to electricity, 40 percent of the Chinese loans paid for power generation and transmission. Another 30 percent went to modernizing Africa’s crumbling transport infrastructure.
Some of these were no doubt pork barrel projects and white elephants: airports with few passengers, or bridges to nowhere. African presidents, like others, love to cut ribbons and leave legacies of big buildings. Chinese companies will receive nearly all of the contracts to build this Chinese-financed infrastructure. Questions have been raised about its quality. Yet on the whole, power and transport are investments that boost economic growth. And we found that Chinese loans generally have comparatively low interest rates and long repayment periods.


“Land grabs” — a term used for any purchase, rental or theft of relatively large amounts of land — are controversial around the world, but especially in Africa, where colonial powers like Britain and France grabbed nearly the entire continent. The stories that China was now a “land grabber” in Africa seemed to make sense. After all, China has 9 percent of the world’s arable land, 6 percent of its water and over 20 percent of its people. Africa has plentiful land and the planet’s largest expanses of underutilized land and water. And Chinese companies were clearly interested in investing in Africa; some came to inquire about land.
And so the land grab rumors began to spread. On the CBS News website, we read: “China recently purchased half the farmland under cultivation in the Congo.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top African adviser told reporters that a devastating famine in the Horn of Africa several years ago was partly due to China’s “large-scale land purchases.” Even Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell recirculated a “land grab” story: “I read just the other day that China has rented land in Kenya to move some one million peasants to Africa.”
Intrigued by these stories, I did what academics do. Instead of tweeting what might have been fake news, I set up a research project.
Our team at the International Food Policy Research Institute and at Johns Hopkins University collected a database of 57 cases where Chinese firms (or the government) were alleged to have acquired or negotiated large (over 500 hectare) amounts of African farmland. If all of these media reports had been real news, this would have amounted to a very alarming 6 million hectares — 1 percent of all the farmland in Africa.
We spent three years tracking down every single case. We travelled from Madagascar to Mozambique, Zimbabwe to Zambia. We confirmed that nearly a third of these stories, including the three above, were literally false. In the remaining cases, we found real Chinese investments. But the total amount of land actually acquired by Chinese firms was only about 240,000 hectares: 4 percent of the reported amount.
The stories of large-scale land grabbing and Chinese peasants being shipped to Africa to grow food for China turned out to be mostly myths. As researchers at the Center for International Forestry Research concluded after their own rigorous research: “China is not a dominant investor in plantation agriculture in Africa, in contrast to how it is often portrayed.”
We found a story of globalization, not colonization; a story of African agency, rather than Chinese rapacity. In Mozambique, I met African investors like Zaidi Aly, who had traveled to Brazil to learn how to grow soybeans for local chicken feed. There, he met a Chinese firm buying soybeans. Aly invited them to invest in soybeans with him. Hit by a prolonged drought, their joint venture failed. The Chinese returned home. But Aly told me it was a net gain: “I learned so much from them.”
To be sure, increased Chinese engagement comes with significant and very real challenges for many Africans. Traders complain about competition from Chinese migrants. In our research on Chinese factories in Africa, we’ve interviewed African workers who now have jobs but complain about Chinese bosses who expect long hours at low pay.
Chinese demand for African ivory, abalone, rhinoceros tusk and materials from other endangered species has taken a significant toll on conservation efforts. And Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent lifting of his own term limits is bound to embolden African leaders who are reluctant to leave their comfortable presidential posts.
China is often lambasted as a nefarious actor in its African dealings, but the evidence tells a more complicated story. Chinese loans are powering Africa, and Chinese firms are creating jobs. China’s agricultural investment is far more modest than reported and welcomed by some Africans. China may boost Africa’s economic transformation, or they may get it wrong — just as American development efforts often go awry.

***Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her latest book is "Will Africa Feed China?"

1 - 1011 - 2021 - 23

Return to Reasoning List

Haile Selassie I