Jean-Paul Pougala, a Cameroonian professor, argues that as times go, China has become the best partner for Africa. He is not alone in that league of supporters of the flourishing relationship between Africa and China. The professor highlights the significant amount of dollars Chinese authorities are readying for African development against their access to its resources. However, many of the critics of Chinese partnership with Africa including myself point at the fact that China is for Africa only a different imperialist new economic power seeking the black continent minerals. Chinese are no more than using an altered and relatively improved approach.
What Africa needs most is not money, – there have been billions of dollars directed to the continent and wasted since the independences, but a renewed mindset towards its development. China and other imperialist powers before it had initially crafted their sustainable strategies for growth when they came and plundered the continent resources. Unless Africans think through thoroughly and firstly what type of long term development they aspire to, money on its own without a cleverly designed project of society which addresses major issues for African citizens, won’t change much. They will continue to be fooled without such premise.
Democracy, transparency and respect of human rights are values which cannot continue to be ignored wherever and whenever development would be discussed. The question people should ask about Chinese partnership with Africa is: how significant are the benefits African citizens get out of it? The wrong question has persistently been: how much money is there involved?
Please read on professor Pougala point of view as published by Bay View National Black Newspaper.