•Injects $160bn loan, aid to Africa in 3 years
•As Elumelu, Dangote, Dora Akunyili, others nominated for Africa Economic Awards
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has expressed worry that China’s economic relationship with Africa suggests that it mainly targets her natural resources rather than investment and transformation in African countries.
This was disclosed at the weekend by the Senior Director, AfDB Nigeria, Mr. Ebrima Faal, at the African Economic Merit Awards (AEMA) World Plaque and Award Nominees Unveiling in Abuja.
Faal who was represented by the Regional Procurement Coordinator, (AfDB), Mr. Baba Imoru Abdulai, highlighted this as one of the key areas of concerns in china’s economic relationship with Africa.
He noted that lending instead of investment dominates China’s relationship with Africa, which he stressed may soon create a new debt crisis, that will enable Asian giant access Africa’s resources.
The senior director expressed concern over the growing sized of debt owed China’s global changing financial architecture.
He said: “Data from the China –Africa Research Centre show that between 2000 to 2015, total Chinese loans to African governments was $94.4 billion with Angola and Ethiopia as the two highest beneficiaries. Besides the size of the loans, there have also been concerns that Chinese offer more loans in order to access natural resources.
“At the September 2018 FOFAC Summit, China pledged US$60 billion in loans, aid and investment. This amount was the same as that pledged in 2015, which was three times the figure announced in 2012. The latest financing brought the total support to Africa countries to US$120 billion in three years.
“Currently, China’s support to Africa’s development through the AfDB is being channeled through Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF). As the implementation of the AGTF accelerates, AfDB could explore the possible increase of resources to the Fund.”
Faal further revealed that Africa has lost her local companies to Chinese firms “with the freedom to operate in all sectors and with access to capital and better technology, the Chinese firm have gained market power and dominance in recent times. As such, many African owned firms are forced to drop out of the market due to competition. This has force several African firms to close down.”
Earlier, the President/Founder of AEMA, Mr. McEva Temofe, said the essence of the award is to promote innovative ideas for entrepreneurial economy and development to all africans.
Temofe explained AEMA aims to unveil successful African entrepreneurs and unrecognised Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that have contributed immensely to the development of communities through humanitarian and empowerment initiatives to the world.
Also speaking, the Head of Media and Publicity, AEMA, Senator Iroegbu, noted that one of the key thematic focus of the awards is in the area of security with both negative and positive implications for Africam
Iroegbu opined that economic development cannot be achieved without peace and security, while urging African countries to develop her millitary.
He also regrets that African countries are not deploying her “envious” youthful population which constitutes a major park of the work force who are rather being used to propagate war and conflicts.
Two categories of topics that were discussed at the plaque and award norminees unveiling, the first being “Africa and China Economic Relations” with panelists that include: Mr. Baba Imoru Abdulai of AfDB; Executive Secretary, National Commission for Normadic Education, Prof. BH Usman; Director-General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Tonia Shoyele; Dr. Sherrif Ghali Ibrahim of the University of Abuja; and Regional Director of UNESCO, Mr. Ydo Yao.
The second panel of discussion on the “Effect of Youth on the African Economy”, has young Africans as panelists including: Ms. Thembakazi Taki, Williams Uchemba, Japhet Omojuwa, Adebola Williams, Hamzat Lawal, Seun Ologun Williams and Moses Siasa Siloko.
Successful Nigerians nominated for the award include; Aliko Dangote for African Economic Merit Awards Hero Of The Year Award, Tony Elumelu for African Economic Merit Awards African Philanthropist Of The Year, Mo’ Abudu for African Economic Merit Awards Woman of the Year and Obiageli Ezekwesili was nominated for African Economic Merit Awards Africa’s Leading Voice .
Also, late Dora Akunyili was nominated for African Economic Merit Awards Posthumous Hero Of The Year Award when the Sultan Abubakar III and Oba Ewuare II African Economic Merit Awards Monarch Of The Year.
Others are Globacom and Peak Milk for African Economic Merit Awards Africa’s Brand Choice Awards. In addition to Philanthropist award, Elumelu was nominated in two other categories including African Man of the Year and NGO of the Year Awards.