Avoid Loans From China–US Warns African Countries

By Ikenga Chronicles March 9, 2018

Avoid Loans From China–US Warns African Countries

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on African countries to be wary of Chinese loans.

“We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa,” Tillerson told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital during his first diplomatic trip to the continent.

“(But) it is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty.”

He arrived in Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, on Wednesday and visited the African Union headquarters on Thursday. The complex was fully funded and built by China and is seen as a symbol of Beijing’s thrust for influence and access to the continent’s natural resources.

The top US diplomat’s comments followed a speech earlier this week in which he criticised “China’s approach” to Africa which he said encouraged dependency through “opaque contracts” and “predatory loan practices”.

Tillerson, may also be seeking to smoothen relations after US President Donald Trump reportedly dismissed some African nations as “shithole countries” in January. Trump later denied making the comment.