Debt-trap diplo­macy

The Africa Report - - HANNIBAL -

THAT DIDN’T STOP AMER­I­CANS voic­ing con­cerns that the OBOR and other Chi­nese pro­grammes are a debt trap for African gov­ern­ments. The Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­tre for Global De­vel­op­ment puts Dji­bouti at high risk, and Ethiopia and Kenya at sig­nif­i­cant risks of un­sus­tain­able debt from Chi­nese lend­ing. Ad­dis Ababa and Bei­jing re­cently agreed to ex­tend Ethiopia’s dead­line to pay back its loan for a rail­way project. Around the same time, the White House an­nounced a re­vamped Over­seas Pri­vate In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, with a $60bn war chest to ward off Chi­nese in­flu­ence. Crit­ics of Chi­nese lend­ing point to places like debt-mired Zam­bia, where the lack of strings at­tached from Chi­nese money has seen lav­ish gov­ern­ment spend­ing on non-pro­duc­tive items.

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