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African countries welcome growing Chinese presence despite West's criticism

         Date: 2012-10-18

           Tag: Africa, China, investment

Summary: Despite spells of criticism on the growing presence of the Chinese in Africa from the Western governments and media, African countries make greater efforts to lure more Chinese investment into the c…

Despite spells of criticism on the growing presence of the Chinese in Africa from the Western governments and media, African countries make greater efforts to lure more Chinese investment into the continent.

Tendai Moyo, a Harare-based social commentator, said it is undeniable that while China is extending its genuine philanthropic hand to Africa, the West is busy extending their brazen iron fisted imperial hand that continues to foment a myriad of destabilizing activities in the continent.

Zimbabwe's Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Secretary Desire Sibanda also said that there was a deliberate thrust by Africa to deal with China because of favorable business conditions.

Africa had, through the securitization of its resources, benefitted more from its relationship with China than with traditional partners such as the World Bank who provided assistance attached with stringent conditions, he said.

"Historically big projects were funded by the World Bank with their conditionalities, but this now gave Africa an opportunity to look East where these conditionalities do not exist. The issue of securitization of resources whereby China gave assistance in infrastructure development in exchange for raw materials for its fast growing economy was something new and gave developing countries the much needed debt relief," he said.

He cited countries such as Angola, Rwanda and Zambia where the Chinese were assisting in boosting infrastructure development. "Instead of focusing on trade, they focused on what mattered most in Africa, and that is infrastructure development. Africa is very rich in resources but its infrastructure is very poor, and we need assistance in such areas as energy, water, railways and roads construction," he said.

"What created the debt crisis was that when we were trading and investing with the West, we went for debts and in some cases the debts were for consumption. The coming in of China with their new model of financial assistance, therefore, reduced the level of debt," he said. As a developing country, China also understood the needs of developing countries better and to a great extent met them, he added.

Sentimental and historical political links with Africa were also in China's favor as it had helped a number of liberation movements against colonizers from the West.

"If they were given a choice they would go to China than to the West, and also because of the old feeling that the West are capitalists bent on enriching themselves," he added.

China's increasing presence in Africa has made the West, who are losing ground in monopolizing Africa's resources, jittery. The West are doing everything possible to discredit China's positive developments in Africa.

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