According to Dr. Cliff Ochieng’ Mboya, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Africa-China Studies (CACS), University of Johannesburg, for African nations to reduce their overdependence on the Chinese BRI in mitigating potential debt repayment challenges, we need to be innovative in terms of our resource utilization.
He made this submission during the BRI Dialogue 2023, an annual summit hosted by the Africa-China Centre for Policy & Advisory.
He emphasized the importance of innovative resource utilization for African nations seeking to reduce their dependence on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a primary strategy for mitigating potential debt challenges.
Dr. Mboya pointed out that while Africa is abundant in resources, a lack of cohesive collaboration among nations is hindering the continent’s ability to leverage these assets effectively.
“Africa must generate policies that foster coordination among nations, moving beyond mere competition for benefits to focus on sustainability, cost management, and debt reduction,” Dr. Cliff added.
Highlighting that the BRI is a Chinese initiative, Dr. Mboya stressed the need for African nations to actively participate and not leave the responsibility solely to the Chinese, as they have expressed that they do not own the project outright. He also urged African nations to collaborate and contribute collectively, emphasizing that over-dependence on developing countries, despite their capital, should be reconsidered.
In light of the challenges that may arise during the implementation of such strategies, he encouraged African nations to learn from the process. Drawing a parallel with the Chinese approach, he emphasized that challenges should not deter progress but rather serve as stepping stones toward achieving long-term objectives.
As African nations grapple with economic challenges, Dr. Mboya calls for innovative resource utilization and collaborative efforts as a more sustainable way of reducing their dependence and mitigating potential debt repayment challenges in relation to the BRI while contributing meaningfully to global initiatives.
Source: ACCPA, www.africachinacentre.org
Written by: Mercy Tedeku, Research Associate, ACCPA