Chinese lending to Africa tends to decline during times of crisis, and lending commitment dropped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to European Times.
The total number of projects under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) fell to an all-time high of $1.9 billion in 2020, with just 11 projects receiving funding from a total of around 60 projects per year in 2015-2019.
By comparison, historically strong borrowers such as Angola and Ethiopia received no loans.
The situation raises the question of whether Chinese lending to Africa is drying up. According to the European Times, Chinese financiers signed 1,188 loan commitments worth $160 billion with 49 African governments during the period 2000-2020.
In addition to the effects of the pandemic, BRI programs are losing credibility due to human and civil rights violations, as well as significant environmental damage. China’s unethical methods of doing business in African countries are fast becoming a new norm rather than an exception.
A Chinese national was recently jailed in Uganda for allegedly banning Betty Amongi Akena, the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development, from inspecting working conditions at Sunbelt Industries Ltd. According to reports, at least 80% of the 100 employees do not have access to even basic services such as clean sanitary facilities. Despite the work of large machines, none of the factory workers wore headgear, according to the minister.
Previously, cases of staff abuse by Chinese nationals and sexual harassment had also been reported. Two Chinese nationals from China State Construction Engineering and Cooperation were arrested in Bukwo district, Uganda in April 2022. went viral on social media, a Chinese national was sentenced to 20 years in prison for torturing minors local. Chinese companies are also known to have signed openly biased contractual agreements with host countries in Africa. their publication bans. (The Time Bureau)