Re: Africa and Chinas’ Mutual, Developmental Programmes.

Chinsese President

By Steve Obum Orajiaku

Over the past 65 years, China and Africa have forged unbreakable fraternity in our struggle against imperialism and colonialism…’Chu Maoming. China Consul General.

In his published article with the Guardian newspaper dated Thursday, December 9, 2021 under the above referenced title, Mr. Maoming, the China Consulate General to Nigeria thoroughly itemized 9 distinct programmes of multilateral and mutual interest upon which China will collaborate with the African nations. All stipulated events shall be executed concurrently ‘under the first three-year plan of the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035.’ A casual perusal of the impressive media disclosure, will establish a kind of trust on the expressed commitment and concern for Africa developmental needs by the Chinese government unmindful of the motive that trails it. Whereas a critical and constructive examination of what is supposed to be a gift or donation from a financially stable and territorially vast nation China to a continent Africa of equal geographical size and population, will unravel some silent yet subtle aspects of the entire collaborative efforts which is worrisome. Without prejudice to the proverb that ‘you do not look the gift horse in the mouth’ however, under what context is loan facility considered a gift? As rhetorical and rousing as that question may sound, it leaves much to be desired what destination this purported China-Africa marriage will finally arrive at. Be that as it may, the very act of rendering a helping hand to a continent which the imperialist nations of the Western hegemony had successfully spoiled and stripped of precious patrimony, is indicative of a commitment to the turnaround of African dire situational reality, all other things being equal.

The alleged take over of the Uganda’s 49 year old major international airport – Entebbe, by the China government over the November 17 2015 $207 million loan, represents a sore testimonial of the suspicious objective behind the China Africa union project. The Chinese lenders agent is Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank). Upon disbursement, the loan which had a maturity period of 20 years including a seven-year grace period, is pegged at two per interest rate. It is believed that the Uganda government representatives may have hurriedly dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s of the enticing yet entangling loan facility without diligently counting the cost. Now, by the benefit of hindsight, the 77 years old Museveni administration of Uganda may be lamenting thus…’oh how simple minded we were, little did we know that our signing of the dotted lines of the contract document was indeed and invariably the signing of our own death warrant, at least that of our nation’s economic cash cow – Entebbe International Airport.’ It must be noted, however, that the granting of loan facility (business dealings) by the Chinese government is quite disassociable from the 9 specific programmes (benevolent donations) earmarked for execution during the Eight Ministerial Conference of the forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). But one thing that clearly stands out, is that they (the duo interactive offers) are like the two hands of the same individual nation – China.

This crass neglect by the Chinese government handlers of China-Africa fusion to the expressed concern of the few privileged bohemian media watchmen of Africa trending events, is quite irritating and irksome. Constructive criticism should be considered a commendable role for optimal delivery by any leader. The informed manager of every strata of society must be keen to evaluate his acceptability and popularity rate of his entire outputs and products. Some of us who are Africa intellectuals and technocrats are no longer ignorant of the devices and antics of this monument – refurbished colonialism.
And to sound warnings of the impending catastrophe awaiting Africa nations over this rematch to Neo-colonialism and it is unheeded, is, without doubt perilous as it is pathological. Africa nations who are embracing this China-Africa apparent packages without asking pertinent questions, especially our gullible African leaders who head on foolhardy and the gloating China-Africa initiators, must be wary. As at date, for example, the foreign debts profile of Nigeria has hit N38 trillion and still counting. This figure rose from the N2.6 trillion which the current PMB administration met at the inception of his government. The thing is not so peculiar to Nigeria under President Mohammadu Buhari, although his own is weightier in figures. The insolvency of the borrower Africa nations is not disputable, particularly in the Nigeria case. Worse still, the demonstration of the will to responsibly repay is thoroughly absent.

I have always observed in all my media interventions and writings that practical and noble style of proferring workable solutions to existing situations. I have not changed. Henceforth, I will make suggestions on how best this professed China-Africa confluence can be implemented wholesomely and without one divide feeling shortchanged, marginalized or dwindled. Let it be, at the end of the day, a win-win reality and mutually respectful exchange of developmental, innovational and resourceful ideals. If you have observed, the silence on and omission of those forms of government identity practised by respective countries, is deliberate here. Although their educational values cannot be questioned, Colonialism, Communism, Democracy, Aristocracy, Monarchy, Solialism systems of government have achieved more of polarizing and isolating regions and nations than they have succeeded at uniting the extant divergent regional perspectives. Cosmopolitalism ought to be the watchword in this modern world and stand upright as watershed injunction if proper cordial interactions and interrelationships are deemed to be gained.

Multilingual translation from one dominant or hegemonic language to another should not be imposed on the one party in the transaction who’s wrongly perceived to be the weak bride. If honesty and upholding of integrity still remains an exorbitant commodity and cultural aberration for the Chinese and other African partners and allies especially with regards to transparency demands in the contractual documents translation from Chinese language to English language or official language of individual African nations and vise versa, then concerned Africans should yank the China-Africa idea off their neck, forthwith. The April 1889 Berlin Conference, where the greedy Western world led by Count Herbert von Bismarck (son of chancellor Otto von Bismarck) unilaterally sat down to divide and share African nations among themselves as in a loot and bounty, ostensibly for trade and export of civilization, should not be allowed to be recapitulated arbitrarily somewhere in Beijing China under any guise. Consequently, the reign of atrocious deeds, devastating onslaught and ravaging plunder initially meted out on Guinea by the Portuguese is too morbid and messy to mention.

He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. Again, our African adage, particularly of Igbo race quite pertinently says, “Mgbe a na-atupu igwu n’akpụkpọ anụ nkịta, ma igosighi ya, ogadi zi ka ituru ya mbo.’ Translates, ‘when you eject lice from the skin of the dog without carefully showing it to its view, the dog will assume you have pinched it.’ Nigeria, as we speak, is also on the verge of loosing some of her treasured infrastructures over which some huge amount of money was lent by the Chinese government to either construct anew or upgrade. Ditto, many other African countries. Few out of the 54 Africa nations are practically out of this hook. How much of this inexorable indeptedness as baits has China made away with to tie Africa nations so haplessly is a hypothetical situation begging for urgent remedy. If anything, the book A Century Of The Communist Party Of China. WHY AFRICA SHOULD ENGAGE ITS EXPERIENCE by Dr Charles Onunaiju, founder of the Center For China Studies (CCS) Utaku Abuja, represents a rich resources and legible guide on how certainly African independent nations can assimilate China developmental rudiments, apply it effectively to their unique situations at such a fortuitous period as we are in now. The result will, most likely, be the same evident in China, currently.

  •  Obum Orajiaku is an investigative journalist and social activist.


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