“African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol
As The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to happen on the 2nd and 3rd December 2018, there is time to remember how the Chinese is operating on the African Continent. The Chinese isn’t coming with empty giving hands of donations or even charity. They come with intent of interests and needs of resources from the continent, by offering loans, serving and building through state owned enterprises (SOE) in various of countries, whether it is roads, ports or railroads are built by Chinese Companies, by Chinese Workers and often on Chinese loans. Therefore, they might end up as Chinese owned enterprises, whose vital for transportation and export of needed minerals and whatnot from the continent.
Instead of coming with loans and direct-aid with strings like Western Powers has done over the last few decades, the Chinese are coming with friendly loans, but the Heads of State should know that the Chinese doesn’t play. They want value for money and expect a return, if it doesn’t they might snatch the new crown-jewel or anticipate to get perks from the state. If that is some sort of trade-off or licenses to extract mineral resources or even minor taxation like toll-roads, where the piece of cash will be sent to Beijing and not the capitol of the country where the road is built. That is how these people operate. They are not in it to play or be giving, but gain advantage and have the upper-hand.
This can be shown by what the State Media in China writes in Xinhua Net wrote today and what a CARI report on the same funds are saying. The Chinese portray the funding as investments on the Continent, as the funds are most likely pushed as loans, which burdens the states and that they have to repay. Loans are not given, but issued because of lack of direct funds to build those infrastructure and investments done. So, what I am saying isn’t mere speculation, but a narrative that has to sink in.
“China’s investments into Africa surged by more than 100 times from 2000 to 2017. In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China’s investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent” (Li Xia – ‘Facts & Figures: China-Africa ties: cooperation for shared future’ 02.09.2018 link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/02/c_137438845.htm).
“From 2000 to 2017, the Chinese government, banks and contractors extended US $136 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Angola is the top recipient of Chinese loans, with $42.2 billion disbursed over 17 years. Chinese loan finance is varied. Some government loans qualify as “official development aid.” But other Chinese loans are export credits, suppliers’ credits, or commercial, not concessional in nature. China is not Africa’s largest “donor”” (China Africa Research Initiative – ‘DATA: CHINESE LOANS TO AFRICA’ Version 1.1 August 2018).
They might try to conceal the reality, just like make-up is used on the face to fade the age or even marks that shows stress or pimples. However, the Chinese cannot be able to lie about their intent. They would not offer these sums of cash, without expecting a turnover or even profits. The Chinese wouldn’t allow all these billions of US Dollars spent on these nations to be spoiled and lost on the streets of Lome, Harare, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. They anticipate a return on the loans, either straight cash or getting pieces of the built infrastructure to advance the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
That the Heads of State in Africa should be concerned as they are getting in debt traps, instead of being in cycle of positive growth, they are getting new loans to pay the old ones. They are using the same creditor to secure new loans on top of the old-debt. That is how it will continue, until a point where they cannot pay the defaulted debt and the Chinese would then come to snatch something of value to recoup the failing debt. Because they don’t want to write-off the big money without having anything in return. That is what the Chinese has done in Sri Lanka and might start elsewhere. There might be soon more control of port in Djibouti or railroad of Kenya, even the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line too. As they want their value of money.
They might be all smiles and photo-ops in Beijing these days, the smiles and added loans to dozens of countries. The added “investments” and deals struck, but the Chinese will not do so without getting something in return. To think otherwise, is to be naive and think they don’t have an agenda by doing it.
There is nothing like a free-lunch and the people will learn that, the Heads of State will not directly pay the debt, but the states will do so. Maybe not in this decade or next 5 years, but sooner or later. The bill for the coffee and biscuit will come. Than it is all eaten, but tab still has to be cleared. Peace.
Kofi Annan was a guiding force for good. It is with profound sadness that I learned of his passing. In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.
Like so many, I was proud to call Kofi Annan a good friend and mentor. I was deeply honoured by his trust in selecting me to serve as UN High Commissioner for Refugees under his leadership. He remained someone I could always turn to for counsel and wisdom — and I know I was not alone. He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world. In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us.
My heartfelt condolences to Nane Annan, their beloved family, and all who mourn the loss of this proud son of Africa who became a global champion for peace and all humanity.
“The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.” – Frantz Fanon
The true value and who runs it is proven when the former head of the Commonwealth for decades has been Queen Elisabeth II, which of yesterday put the mantle of leadership to her son Prince Charles of Wales. The Statement from ‘ Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 – Leaders’ Statement’ said: “We recognise the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales” (Commonwealth, 20.04.2018).
We can also know the perspective the Great Britain has for the organization, as Boris Johnson wrote so clearly in March 2018: “The good news is that when we leave the EU, we will regain the power to sign free trade agreements with our Commonwealth friends, allowing the UK to make the most of thriving markets. Brexit will give us the ability to open a new era of friendship with countries across the world. A key theme of the London summit will be how to boost trade within the Commonwealth. We’ll also discuss how to improve security co-operation and take joint action to protect the world’s oceans, bearing in mind that the Commonwealth includes island states in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean” (Boris Johnson – ‘Commonwealth has key role to play in the bright future for Britain: article by Boris Johnson’ 12.03.2018, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)).
It shows that the United Kingdom own problems and issues is key for the Summit. The others are more a circus that the old empire can play into it. That happen and the Commonwealth Declaration on the 20th April 2018 named ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ part of it says: “We, the Heads of Government representing member countries of the Commonwealth and one third of the world’s population recognise international trade and investment
as an engine for generating inclusive and participative economic growth and a means to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (…) “In particular, we recognise the importance of the multilateral trading system in ensuring the integration of small, vulnerable and least developed countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific into the world economy, and welcome initiatives which will support greater and more effective participation of these countries in international trade” (…) “To promote the realisation of these goals, we hereby launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment. This Agenda will be guided by the principles that: co-operation should be pragmatic and practical, leading to credible results; take into account regional integration initiatives; take into account the needs of small and vulnerable economies and least developed countries; avoid duplication with initiatives where other organisations are already working; add value in areas of engagement; and adopt a progressive approach towards a long term vision for closer trade and investment ties. It should also recognise the vital role of the private sector in delivering the 2030 Agenda and facilitating the promotion of the blue and green economy” (Commonwealth – ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ 20.04.2018).
We can see that Boris Johnson’s goals for the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) appeared on the last day, yesterday, as this declaration is to anticipate the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will work on this now. To make sure the former Colonies are more connected. Not only to themselves through trade, but also to the United Kingdom. This is to give the United Kingdom bigger trade and partners through the use of the former colonies. To look at it differently, is to be naive. The other agreements is to make the public perception positive, but this here was to grease the wheels of United Kingdom, who are soon losing the trade-agreements through the membership of European Union, because of their silly decision to leave the Union.
We can see that the Commonwealth all benefits the United Kingdom and the others just has a place multi-nationally to be represented, though a loose organization, that isn’t to formal. But is a place to make them look better and get exposure through the perspective of their former colonial master. That is why they still has the inter-connected ministry FCO. It is a reason why even Zimbabwean Non-Governmental Organization was petitions the Department for International Development (DFID), so the former colony could have funds to hold Presidential Candidate National Television Debate before the General Election later in the year.
Well, that was a sidetrack, but very fitting. Because, the Commonwealth, still seems like a UK based organization, where it is all because of the mercy of the UK. The Commonwealth communiques, declarations and the meetings is because of UK leaders. Not because of the Kenyan President wanted it or the Indian one wanted some. We know there are someone even questioning it, the Bangladesh PM has been stating this today:
“LONDON, April 21, 2018 (BSS)- Seeking inclusion of representative from Asia in the High Level Group to review the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Governance, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday suggested making the Group more representative with inclusion of member states of different regions. “We value the knowledge and expertise of the Secretariat for furthering work of the Commonwealth. However, we believe that views of the member states through appropriate representation, is equally important,” she said” (Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha – ‘PM suggests making CW high-level group more representative’ 21.04.2018).
This is what I started it, and it is made like this because the Commonwealth are made for the needs of United Kingdom, then the second interests. That is why the head of the Commonwealth has to be the Royalty of the UK. Now it is the Prince of Wales, which was nudged in by the Queen. The same happen to Prince Harry, who was appointed by the Queen to become the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. We can see that the Commonwealth is a UK enterprise. The view can be seen that way, the way the Royal family has key roles and that the FCO is involved. Therefore, the meetings and statements coming from Boris Johnson with everyone he could. Making photo-ups with anyone he could during the CHOGM.
We will clearly see the Commonwealth Secretariat work on the Declaration, especially now that the UK is gearing up for the Brexit and leaving the Union. They need new secure trading partners and what better, than using the informal body of Commonwealth to get trade with. That is what even Johnson has been writing and proves his ideas. That is why he has been so diplomatic and kind with words. Because some of the nations and state leaders he has meet these days, he has written in the past ill-words of their republics and their kind. Therefore, we know he has sudden swift change of interests. That interests being the benefit of London and not of the former colonies.
The Commonwealth seems more like a savior and needed trade-partners right now, because of the problems coming with the loss of the EU membership. FCO and Commonwealth member-states with this declaration are opening for negotiations. Something that Johnson has been hoping for all along. Since he wanted that and hoped that CHOGM would deliver. However, it did that in some respect with the Declaration.
Seemingly again the Commonwealth is made for the benefit of the UK and their needed gains. If it was otherwise, than the Bangladesh PM wouldn’t asked for what she did after the CHOGM. That proves the problems within the Commonwealth Secretariat and with the Declaration itself. Since in that one in question isn’t mentioned even directly in the declaration.
Hope I am wrong, but as long the British Royalty is running it and is the heads of it. Their interests will be in line of London, not being for all the members of the Commonwealth. To think otherwise to be naive. Peace.
NEW YORK, United States of America, April 6, 2018 – The Secretary-General takes note of the announcement by the National Electoral Commission on 4 April of the final results of the presidential run-off election in Sierra Leone. He congratulates Mr. Julius Maada Bio on his election as the next President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and all the candidates for their contributions to the successful outcome of the electoral process. He also applauds the people of Sierra Leone for the sense of responsibility that they have demonstrated in successfully completing the elections in a peaceful manner.
The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the national, regional and international electoral observation teams as well as those of his Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
The Secretary-General appeals for continued calm and stresses the need for all stakeholders to seek redress of any grievances that could arise through established legal means.
The Secretary-General reiterates the support of the United Nations to the new Government in consolidating peace and pursuing sustainable development.