Browsing: Belt and Road Initiative

Consequently, China has carefully abandoned its strong preference for bilateral dealing with problem debtors. The Chinese state avoids being a rule-taker compared to the West on debt issues. Still, it increasingly appears to recognize that multilateral approaches – ideally on an ‘a la carte’ basis – can help contain both the pressures on its African partners and its challenges.

China, therefore cautiously supported the DSSI for some African nations when it came to effect in April 2020, and similarly, the Common Framework launched in 2021. However, the slow implementation of the Common Framework brings to light four specific challenges linked to China’s role.  

First is China’s discomfort with the independent and central role played by the IMF in controlling how much a country can afford to pay through its debt sustainability analysis (DSA). Second is the alarm of privates, and public sector lenders in the West over a lack of accountability in the total amount of debt China lent to African nations. 

The pursuit of a greener earth and universal reliance on renewable presents a unique dilemma for countries in Sub Saharan Africa which rely heavily on energy provided by coal, shale, and other fossil fuels but also their economic livelihoods depend on the black gold.
The elimination of coal and related energy sources would severely prejudice economies that constitute SSA which are still developing or emerging.
It is against this background that the outgoing Chief Executive of the largest coal miner on the JSE, who is also the President of the Minerals Council is on record for saying that African countries should be allowed to make the transition from fossil fuels to greener renewable energies at their own pace.

At the time of this plan, Mombasa was becoming increasingly strained as business volumes and demand rose. The project was however halted for close to 30 years due to various factors including among them exorbitant projected costs. 

In 2012, Kenya’s then-President Mwai Kibaki hosted Ethiopia’s then Prime Minister and a South Sudanese delegation when the port’s foundation stone was laid. The three countries agreed to fund the project from their respective national budgets. Each country would finance their part till the completion of what was now known as the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor.