According to Paul Frimpong, the Executive Director of the Africa-China Centre for Policy and Advisory (ACCPA), the world, and especially developing countries, including Africa, should be vigilant to avoid being forced into accepting narratives around China’s Belt and Road Initiative as the main cause of their debt-related crisis.
According to him, the facts on the ground tracking China’s investment in infrastructure development across the African continent do not support the debt trap narrative being spread by Western media.
He made these comments during the BRI Dialogue hosted on Metro TV’s Metro Business Week Show in Accra together with his outfit, the Africa-China Centre for Policy and Advisory.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Dialogue was initiated to share key insights on how China’s BRI is impacting Africa’s own ambitions of developing critical infrastructure.
IMAGE: Paul Frimpong, Executive Director of ACCPA, speaking at the BRI Dialogue on Metro TV
“We can all understand where the debt trap diplomacy that has been peddled around China’s BRI is coming from.” Unfortunately, the facts do not support this narrative. And that China is not the cause of Africa’s rising debt-related crisis.”
“Less than 12% of the continent’s total external debt is owed to China. The rest goes to Western institutions and allies”. Most importantly, most of the debt owed to China is investment made into developing critical infrastructure that is capital intensive but at the same time has the potential to unlock the continent’s economic potential.”
“As an African, I trust in the vision of building a continent that is well connected with access to world-class infrastructure.” This is a vision captured in Agenda 2063 and resonates directly with the core mandate of China’s Belt and Road Initiative”. He added.
“I am convinced that in the case of Africa if we stay vigilant and curate viable projects that have the capacity to generate their own revenue, we can leverage China’s BRI as well as other global initiatives to bridge the continent’s infrastructure gaps.”
Source: ACCPA, www.africachinacentre.org
Written by: Mercy Tedeku, Research Associate, ACCPA