Blinken warns Africa over obtaining bad loans from China

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By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on Tuesday cautioned Africa concerning China’s growing role in the continent’s affairs.

In what was dubbed a virtual trip due to COVID-19 restrictions, the top US diplomat held talks with leaders of Nigeria and Kenya.

During a question and answer section with African youth attending the event, Blinken advised African nations to exercise caution regarding foreign governmental influences.

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“We’re not asking anyone to choose between the United States or China, but I would encourage you to ask those tough questions, to dig beneath the surface, to demand transparency and to make informed choices about what is best for you and your countries” Blinken said.

China has recently begun to invest significantly in the African space.

Still, unlike their Western counterparts, the Chinese Government has had no regard for democratic practices or transparency in policymaking.

According to Blinken, countries like Zambia have been plunged into severe debt in recent years after obtaining bad loans from China.

Blinken advised African nations to be wary of the labour that China utilises in building infrastructural projects in the country.

The diplomat alluded that it was essential to evaluate the job opportunities and economic advantages that such projects may be affecting positively or adversely.