Time to End Clap-Trap About ‘Debt-Trap Diplomacy’ in Africa!

While China is Africa’s biggest bilateral creditor, most of the continent’s debt is due to private Western holders of African debt, according to a new study. Photo: PowerChina

June 14, 2022

Africa’s Bigger Worry Is Western Bondholders-Study Finds, an article in the South China Morning Post (see below), is yet another refutation of the baseless ‘debt-trap diplomacy.’ Western propaganda accuses China of  deliberately driving African nations into debt, in order to seize their assets upon default on their loans. These charges have been disproved again, and again, including by the China-Africa Research Institute-CARI, Johns Hopkins University Washington DC. Not to overlooked: not one African asset or project involving China has been seized!

“Contrary to the debt-trap narrative, if a wave of African defaults materializes in the near future, as IFI officials have been fearing since at least 2015, it will be catalyzed more by private-sector maneuvering and intransigence than by Chinese scheming,” the study said

These false allegations against China and its Belt and Road Initiative, have been repeated without a scintilla of evidence, by leaders of  Western governments including several U.S. Presidents, members of Congress, and State Department officials. The motivation for the mindless repetition of what is a blatant falsehood, is the perverted geopolitical doctrine. The followers of this geopolitical mindset insist that for the U.S. led West, to maintain their supremacy in the world, they must suppress and weaken other superpowers, to prevent them from challenging the U.S.-West hegemonic status. Sadly, from the ideology of western geopolitics, the African continent is seen as a mere chess board with African nations as mere chess pieces to counter China’s emergence. To China’s credit they have collaborated with African nations to build vitally necessary infrastructure, while for the last fifty years, the West has refused to make these long term investments.

 As I have documented on this website for years, Africa’s infrastructure is so huge, that the demand for capital investment cannot be satisfied by one nation alone.

There is a harmony of interest for the U.S. and China to cooperate with African nations to eliminate poverty and hunger, which I know can be done within one generation. Let us jettison the relic of geopolitics and adopt a mission that is in the shared-common interest of humankind.

Africa’s Bigger Worry Is Western Bondholders-Study Finds

Chinese debt traps in Africa? The bigger worry is bondholders, study finds

•China is the continent’s biggest bilateral creditor but most of the debt is due to private Western holders of African debt, according to a new report

•Private-sector manoeuvring rather than Chinese scheming more likely to induce a wave of defaults, researchers say

Jevans Nyabiage, June 6, 2022

The rise in African debt due to Chinese lending pales in comparison with the debt burden created by private creditors in the last decade, according to a new report taking aim at accusations that Beijing engages in “debt-trap diplomacy” on the continent.

The study – by Harry Verhoeven from the Centre on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, and Nicolas Lippolis from the department of politics and international relations at the University of Oxford – says the debt-trap narrative is a function of China-US strategic and ideological rivalry rather than a reflection of African realities or perspectives.

“What keeps African leaders awake at night is not Chinese debt traps. It is the whims of the bond market,” the report says.

Debt-trap diplomacy involves extending loans to countries and taking control of key assets if the debtor defaults on repayments.

While China is the continent’s biggest bilateral creditor, most of the debt is due to private Western holders of African debt, according to the researchers. Capital, in the form of debt repayments, thus continued to flow from Africa to Europe and North America, the study said.

Verhoeven said the percentage of African debt owed to China was less compared to that borrowed from private creditors.

“[Chinese debt] is not the most rapidly growing segment of debt. Other credit lines have grown a lot more in recent years, especially those towards commercial creditors,” said Verhoeven, co-author of the report “Politics by Default: China and the Global Governance of African Debt”.

“These are bondholders, people from London, Frankfurt and New York who are buying African debt. That segment in the last couple of years has grown much faster than any liabilities that African states owe other creditors.”

The report cited confidential estimates of international financial institutions (IFIs) that showed sub-Saharan Africa’s government debts to Chinese entities at the end of 2019 totaled around US$78 billion. This was about 8 per cent of the region’s total debt of US$954 billion and 18 per cent of Africa’s external debt.

Continue reading the entire article: Africa’s Bigger Worry Is Western Bondholders-Study Finds

Read my earlier posts:

Africa’s ‘poverty trap’ more dangerous than so-called debt trap

Chinese ‘Debt Trap” is a Myth-Biden Would be Wise Not to Continue Trump’s Attacks on China in Africa 

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the 0blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

Please watch my one hour and twenty minute presentation in the video above, and read the transcript.

June 10, 2022

President Roosevelt used the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to bring the U.S. economy back to life from the Great Depression. He intended to generate economic growth throughout the world with the creation of Bretton Woods. He had a Grand Design to end British and French colonialism following the end of World War II, and free the developing sector to become sovereign nations determining their own economic future.

My presentation provides the concepts for African nations to create economic growth. Using the principles of Alexander Hamilton and President Roosevelt, we can establish an Africa Infrastructure Development Bank that can finance the infrastructure necessary to end hunger and poverty across the continent.

I am available to present additional lectures on this subject. Also, as a physical economist and a consultant with decades of experience, I can provide unique insights on Africa development and U.S. policy towards Africa.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: A US President Committed to the Development of Humankind

Watch my earlier presentation on Alexander Hamilton: Alexander Hamilton’s Credit System Is Necessary for Africa’s Development

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the 0blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

South African Activist Campaigns for Nuclear Energy For Africa: Essential for Industrialization

May 22, 2022

Africa4Nuclear

The post below is provided by my colleague, PD Lawton, creator of the website: africanagenda.net

It is abundantly clear that African nations must become economically sovereign republics, and that is not possible without becoming industrialized economies with advanced agricultural and economic sectors. . For this transformation to occur, massive amounts of additional reliable, powerful energy is required. My estimations is that a minimum of 1,000 gigawatts of additional power is required. Without doubt, this will require the construction of nuclear energy plants across the continent. Listen to Princy Mthombeni, founder Africa4Nuclear

Read my earlier posts on this subject.

Nuclear Energy Challenges Western Colonial Mind-Set: Cheikh Anta Diop & John Kennedy Would Concur

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Mozambique is Obligated to Exploit Its Resources For the Development of Its Economy

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Why Has Fighting in Ukraine Led to Food Emergencies in Africa?

A Somalian girl carries her sibling along land left dry by persistent drought.
A Somalian girl carries her sibling along land left dry by persistent drought.
Getty Image, News24

Lawrence Freeman

May 17, 2022

In recent months there have been an abundance of reports on how the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating food scarcity in Africa. The argument is that Ukraine, ordinarily a large exporter of wheat, is not shipping food to the rest of the world. This includes African nations, some of which are large importers of Ukrainian wheat, resulting in shortages of food, and higher prices, contributing to Africa’s food insecurity.

Food Crisis Staggering in Africa

According to Global Report on Food Crisis 2022, eight of the countries facing the most severe food shortages are in Africa, affecting over 81 million Africans. The breakdown is:

DRC 25.9 million people, Afghanistan 22.8 million, Nigeria 19.5 million, Yemen 19 million, Ethiopia between 14-15 million, South Sudan 7.7 million, Somalia 6 million, Sudan 6 million, Pakistan 4.7 million, Haiti 4.5 million, Niger 4.4 million and, lastly, Kenya 3.4 million, as reported by News24

These nations have been given an Integrated Phase Classification 3 (IPC3), which is defined as households that have either:

Food consumption gaps that are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition; OR  Are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies. 

News24 also reports that according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, in 2020, “approximately 323.3 million people in Africa or 29.5% of the population ran out of food or went without eating that year.”

The United Nations-(UN News) reports that “276 million people around the globe were already facing hunger at the beginning of the year. That number could rise by 47 million if the war continues according to the WFP (World Food Pogramme), with the steepest rise in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (emphasis added)

Industrialization to End Hunger

With abundant hect-acres of fertile soil and arable land, coupled with many water systems, African nations should have already achieved food self-sufficiency. Ironically, sadly, most nations are farther away from being able to feed their populations through their own production of food than they were during the 1960 and 1970s.

African nations are undermining their own economies by importing large amounts of food. According to President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina, “Africa’s annual food import bill of $35 billion, estimated to rise to $110 billion by 2025, weakens African economies, decimates its agriculture and exports jobs from the continent.”  

In reality, Africa’s huge import bill is hindering nations from developing the capacity to eliminate poverty and hunger. Nations using their precious foreign exchange to buy food that they can grow themselves is more than counter-productive. What is needed to end food insecurity is for Africa nations to build their own robust agricultural and manufacturing sectors. There are oligarchical financial interests, steeped in the colonial mind-set, who do not want Africa nations to develop, to become industrialized. There are others, even well-meaning, who believe that African nations should remain agrarian societies. As an expert in physical economics, I can assure you that this approach will fail, and will only lead to more poverty and death.

President George Washington’s brilliant Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, fortunately won the battle against Thomas Jefferson and the slaved based agrarian South, to create a manufacturing industry in the newly established United states. Africa must do the same

With sixty percent of the world’s arable land that remains uncultivated, it is obvious that Africa can significantly increase food production in the short term. However, this does not obviate the need for rapid expansion of industry, beyond those businesses devoted only to the extraction of resources. Instead of spending tens of billions of dollars for imported wheat and rice that can be grown indigenously, that money should be investmented in infrastructure, and on valued-added production.

David Beasley, the head of the World Food Program, visiting Sanaa, Yemen, September 2018, where the world’s worst hunger crisis continues to unfold. (courtesy WFP/Marco Frattini, September 2018)

Aid is Insufficient

David Beasley, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme, told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday, May 11, that $5 billion is needed to avoid famine and migration due to COVID-19 and the loss of food from Ukraine. He told the Senators, “ If you do not respond now, we will see destabilization, mass starvation, and migration on an unprecedented scale, and at a far greater cost. A massive influx of refugees to Western countries could soon become a reality.”

Morally we are compelled to acquiesce to Beasley’s legitimate request, although it is doubtful that the nations of the advanced sector will actually come up with the money.

How many hundreds of billions of dollars have been expended on providing aid to countries in need? What would be the results if an equivalent amount of money were spent on development. Emergency aid is required to prevent our fellow human beings from perishing. However, emergency aid does not contribute to creating durable economic transformation that would eliminate the conditions that are the cause for food deprivation. Aid does not increase the productive powers of labor; it does not increase the productivity of the economy. While we can do no less than be the Good-Samaritan, what is the tangible long term effect of exclusively delivering aid?

Share of population access to electricity in Africa

Infrastructure Crucial

Deficits in critical categories of hard infrastructure, especially roads, railroads, and electricity, is depriving nations of precisely those elements of physical economy required to increase the production of real wealth. Why don’t the G7 and European donor nations “grant” an equivalent amount of “aid money” for investment in infrastructure and building nascent industries? Disbursing money either through outright endowments or long-term low interest loans for development has the potential to change the dynamics of poverty and hunger plaguing African nations.

For example, consider irrigation. Bringing water to farmland would substantially increase food production. Most African nations irrigate 5% or less of their land. Worse, many nations still depend on backward modes of subsistence farming. What would be required to double or triple irrigation? Primarily, energy to pump the water is essential, but African nations are energy starved. Pipes to transport the water. Advanced machinery would be required to harvest the increased yields. Roads and railroads would be needed to transport the crops to markets.

Given Africa’s untapped agricultural potential, with investments in these basic classifications of infrastructure; hunger could be eliminated.

In October 2020, in response to an earlier food crisis, I delineated the following necessary actions (below) that should have been taken. These measures are still valid today, and should be implemented now, without delay.

Emergency Action Required

  1. We must urgently deliver food to starving people. One single human being dying from starvation is intolerable. Every creative soul that perishes is a loss to the human race.
  2. Nations producing food surpluses must allocate food shipments to feed starving people.
  3. Logistics for delivery will have to done in a military fashion or directly by qualified military personnel supported by governments.
  4. Roads, railways, and bridges constructed for emergency food delivery can serve as an initial platform for expansion to a higher plateau of infrastructure required for economic growth.
  5. Debts must be suspended to enable nations to direct money away from onerous payments of debt service to growing and distributing food.
  6. A new financial architecture-a New Bretton Woods must be established with a facility to issue credit to finance critical categories of infrastructure necessary for economic growth and food production.

Read my earlier posts:

Famine in Africa: More Than Humanitarian Aid Required

COVID-19 Tragedy Compels Revamping Globalization and Food Production 

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Nuclear Energy Challenges Western Colonial Mind-Set: Cheikh Anta Diop & John Kennedy Would Concur

Cheikh Anta Diop, IFAN laboratory, Dakar, 1976. Photo by Jake Scott,

The article below by my colleague, Nancy Spannaus, creator of the website americansystemnow.com provides a useful up-date on momentum for expanding the world’s production of nuclear energy. This is of vital importance for the future of the African continent, and its growing population. Almost one third of African nations are involved  in some stage of acquiring nuclear energy. A growing number of African leaders are pushing back against the Western dictates, that Africa nations must forgo the use of their own natural energy resources in order to “save the planet” from climate change. These demands are dripping with a racist-colonial mentality that demands Africans cannot use their natural hydrocarbon resources to generate electricity for their people. On a continent with over 600 million without access to electricity and over 450 million Africans living in poverty; this is criminal and immoral.

Nuclear energy must become an increasing portion of energy consumption for African nations. It provides abundant long term energy, it is ideal for desalination, and produces important medical isotopes. On a continent starved for energy, nuclear fission and ultimately fusion, are essential. As importantly, African nations that embrace nuclear energy will lift their economic mode of production to a more advanced energy infrastructure platform. This will prepare these economies to operate an even higher level of technology in the future; fusion power. The application of nuclear technologies, along with space exploration, will force an upshift in the skill level of the labor force, requiring more scientists, engineers, and training centers.

This concept was understood by the great Senegalese scholar, Cheikh Anta Diop more than six decades ago. He optimistically wrote in his renowned book, Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State:

“If we wish to see the African Nation everyone is talking about these days adapt itself to the needs of a modern technical world, we have from its very beginnings to provide those technical institutions that guarantee the life of a modern nation . We should forthwith create the following institutions:  

A) an institute of nuclear chemistry and physics;

B) an electronic institute;

C) an aeronautics and astronautics institute;

D) an institute of applied chemistry for industry and agriculture;

E) an institute of tropical agronomy and biochemistry

F) an institute of health, specialized in the study tropical diseases.”

Diop strongly believed it was important for African nations to be engaged in the development of thermonuclear (fusion) energy, which is orders of magnitude more powerful than fission. He wrote, “…Africa should be following: first, to bank on the triumph of thermonuclear energy and immediately create a pilot fusion center in an appropriate African country open to all African researchers willing to follow this line of pursuit…”

President John Kennedy also reflected the same technological optimism of Diop. He supported the right of African nations to developing their economies by utilizing their natural resources and having access to technology. Speaking in 1960, Kennedy said:

“Call it nationalism, call it anti-colonialism, Africa is going through  a revolution…Africans want a higher standard of living. Seventy-five percent of the population now lives by subsistence agriculture. They  want an opportunity to manage and benefit directly from their resources in, on, and under the land…The African peoples believe that the science, technology, and education available in the modern world can overcome their struggle for existence, that their poverty, squalor, and disease can be conquered.” (Emphasis added)

Should we do less than emulate the thinking of Kennedy and Diop, today?

Read below my earlier posts on nuclear energy for Africa:

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Mozambique is Obligated to Exploit Its Resources For the Development of Its Economy

Nigerian VP: Osinbajo “Climate Justice Must Include Ending Energy Poverty” Especially for Sub-Saharan Africa

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Africans Should Understand: Physical Economy Creates Wealth and Elevates the Human Mind

Lawrence Freeman giving a presentation on applying the economic principles of Alexander Hamilton and the American System to the development of African nations.

Below, you can read a transcript or watch my video presentation on the essential concepts necessary to understand physical economy, whose principles should be applied to all African nations to end poverty and hunger. Courtesy of PD Lawton, creator of the website: africanagenda.net

Africa Can Create Real Wealth Through the Development of the Physical Economy: Presentation by Lawrence Freeman

This presentation by physical economist and Africa analyst, Lawrence Freeman, was part of an international conference entitled `Solutions for African Economic Development` hosted by Christophe Ndayiragije and PD Lawton. You can find more from Lawrence Freeman at his website: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. You can watch the video at the end of the transcript.

Now people don`t understand that the purpose of an economy for society is the development of human beings. There is no contradiction between the development of human beings and the development of the physical Universe. Human beings are governed by a creative mental process and the Universe is governed by a creative process. And therefore the Universe is there to be intervened upon by the human mind for the advanced propagation of the human race, itself.

I call myself a physical economist because I am trying to change the conception that people have of an economy in their minds. One of the biggest problems we face in the world , in the West, as well as in Africa, is that people have a very poor, if totally erroneous conception of what wealth is.

People think wealth is money, making money on Wall Street, derivatives, stock trading, day trading, and this really is not wealth at all, from my standpoint. A financial system is not wealth. A financial system is necessary, although I would term it more appropriately, a credit system. But the system iteslf which is necessary to facilitate aspects of the physical economy, is not the economy.

What is the economy?
Well, most people say it is to do with free trade, buying low, selling dear, all beginning with Adam Smith. In fact the original conception that Smith has comes from Bernard Mandeville, who wrote a poem about bees. And basically his theory was that the interaction of all these bees , which are equated to human beings, desiring pleasure and avoiding pain, by all their individual pain and pleasure reactions, they serve the greater good. And this supposedly is the Invisible Hand. Of course the Invisible Hand is always there to steal your money. But idea is that the Invisible Hand is somehow the interaction of various human beings in seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, is how an economy operates. And of course there is no truth in that whatsoever.

An economy is actually the self organization, determined by human beings to organize their society in such a way that it continues to perpetuate itself. And it will perpetuate itself if it is a successful economy. The criteria is that you will produce an increase in the standard of living for your population and you will increase the number of people. So you have two criteria which are connected, the increase in total wealth and the increase in total population, and this is what a productive economy should be able to do. And we are talking about tangible wealth, physical wealth in terms of what has just been presented [previous presentation by Knox Msebenzi], in energy, railroads, agriculture and physical, tangible products that society needs.

Now the production of wealth is done by a productive labour force, that is within the entire workforce of an economy, there is a section of that workforce that actually performs what we would call productive labour. There are many other occupations which are necessary, complimentary and essential like education, scientific development, classical education development. But the actual labour force is involved in acting on the physical Universe, to transform the physical Universe in to producing the existence for Humankind.

And that, therefore, what we are primary concerned with in physical economy is how do we make improvements to raise the productivity of the productive labour force. This is our main concern that we are involved in, is acting on the physical Universe to produce more wealth from one production cycle to the next production cycle.

Now how do you produce more wealth from one period to another?
And this brings in the essential questions of science and technology. Each economic mode of production, for each production cycle, is governed in a sense by the level of education and scientific knowledge and technology available for that production cycle. If we change the dynamics of that production cycle then we can change the outcome.

How do we change the dynamics?
It is through science and technology. The human mind, is the only force we know in the Universe that can actually discover new physical principles embedded in the Universe. And as we discover those physical principles, the results are seen to us in new technologies. We bring in a new technology into a current mode of production, current economic system, and we find that we can produce more wealth with the same or less effort. For example what the previous speaker brought out.

If the African continent, the nations, would begin to proliferate nuclear energy in their economies, which is something Cheik anta Diop discussed 60 years ago! But if the African nations were to do that, we would not only see an increase in energy production, but we would see an increase in the entire physical economy. And we would see an increase in the level of education, skill labour, science centres, because you would be mastering a new technology, that is not new to the world but is not being applied in Africa. This would be an upgrade or an upshift of the entire economy.

Now how does this work?
The human mind makes a discovery in the physical Universe which is then transformed by other humans into a technology. How does that technology then change the economy? For example: machine tools. Machine tools produce all other machines. If you change the technology of machine tool design, you change all other forms of production in your economy because you would be producing those new machines based on a new design of machine tools which are the essence of an industrialized economy. How many machine tool plants do we have in Africa today? Just like how many nuclear energy plants, we know we have one in South Africa.

The other area where we change the economy, improve the economy is through infrastructure. Again as you bring in a new technology, again such as fission or lets say, more advanced, such as fusion, that new technology embedded in your infrastructure platform changes the total ptoductivity of every member of your society.

Every farmer becomes more productive when he is surrounded by density of energy, by a density of clean water for society, by a density of railroads. So the density of infrastructure and the technological level of the platform of infrastructure are fundamental ways you actually change the economy. You bring in something new that has been discovered by man for the economy.

Now people don`t understand that the purpose of an economy for society is the development of human beings. There is no contradiction between the development of human beings and the development of the physical Universe. Human beings are governed by a creative mental process and the Universe is governed by a creative process. And therefore the Universe is there to be intervened upon by the human mind for the advanced propogation of the human race, itself.

And therefore in changing and improving the physical economy we are not only increasing the physical output of goods but we are actually increasing the power of each individual member of that society. Even if the majority members of society do not partake in the productive process, they participate in an economy of a rising standard of living and of an improved technology and scientific capability.

Now this also begs another question that is involved in physical economy; which is your scientific, cultural educational level. Is a society producing the scientific level that is necessary for new discoveries? Is the educational level of the population sufficient for the members of the population to assimilate that new technology, that new scientific level, and are they able to transmit that?

So by looking at the physical economy from the standpoint of the mind of man, you see that the entire society should be organized to promote this quality of development, of the human being, which leads, and is completely connected to the quality of development of human life itself.
Now many people think Africa is overpopulated, I had this problem with many of my friends who are somewhat ignorant on the issue, over the last 30 years I have been travelling to Africa. Africa is not over populated, there are not too many people. There is not enough people. There`s entire parts of Africa that are completely underdeveloped. There`s entire parts of Africa where agriculture is completely underdeveloped. So it is not a question of population. It is a question of development.

And what we need to do is we need to have African leaders begin implementing, as was discussed earlier with the question of Ghana and other nations, have to begin understanding the coherence of one concept of a physical economy in a society and promoting those policies that will actually raise the level, qualitatively and quantitatively. Now this also has a very serious implications for education. This has very serious implications for security. Because we are approaching the security question. in many cases, all wrong.
So therefore, what I think about and what I suggest what other leaders think about is what inputs do we make in the long-term which then reflect in to what we have to do in the short term that actually change, improve, advance the physical economy as part of the entire development of society.

Source: Africa Rising Soon TV

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Nuclear Power A Necessity for Africa’s Economic Growth

Nigeria and Ghana making nuclear power part of their future

A nuclear power plant

A nuclear power plant

March 12, 2021

It is essential that African nations advance their plans to build nuclear plants as part of their energy grid. That is why the efforts of Nigeria and Ghana should be hailed as progress for the continent. Africa`s Future Depends on Adopting Nuclear Power Generation

The lack of energy is killing more Africans that any other cause of death. My estimate is that the nations of Africa should acquire at least 1,000 gigawatts-1,000,000 megawatts-of electrical power to raise the standard of living of the populations to that of a modern industrialized society. Nuclear energy must be an increasing share of the continent’s energy generation.

Construction and operation of nuclear energy will also elevate the skill level of the domestic workforce. Nuclear energy complexes will serve as  training centers for skilled workers, engineers and scientists to operate a higher level of technology.

Energy is an indispensable element of the infrastructure platform that every nation requires to expand its economy. Energy poverty sustains poverty because electricity

Energy is vital for:

  1. industrialization
  2. manufacturing
  3. agricultural & agricultural processing
  4. transportation,
  5. schools
  6. hospitals
  7. vaccine production and distribution
  8. homes  
  9. elimination poverty & hunger

Let us encourage more African nations to expand their energy grid with nuclear power

Nigeria invites bids as it prepares to construct its first nuclear power plant, amid security concerns

Busineess Insider Africa

EMMANUEL ABARA BENSON March 2, 2022 10:41 AM

  • The nuclear power plant is projected to become Nigeria’s largest power plant and could potentially solve the country’s electricity challenges.
  • However, there are have been concerns about the country’s ability to manage a nuclear power plant, considering its peculiar security challenges.
  • Note that the bidding process is very critical to any nuclear power project, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Nigerian Government said it has commenced the bidding process in preparation for the construction of a 4000 megawatts nuclear power plant in the country.

The Director General of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Dr Yau Idris, disclosed this while speaking during the Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja, yesterday. According to him, the nuclear power plant is projected to become Nigeria’s largest power plant, and could significantly improve the West African country’s power generation capacity.

Meanwhile, there have been concerns about Nigeria’s ability to manage a nuclear power plant, considering the delicate nature of such a project as well as the country’s peculiar security situation. Dr Idris addressed these concerns during his speech, stressing that it is wrong for anyone to assume that Nigeria’s is incapable of managing a nuclear project.

“There are mechanisms put in place that ensure any country can build a nuclear power plant. Nigeria is trying to deliver 4,000MW of electricity through nuclear power. We are trying to construct four units and we are at the bidding stage,” he was quoted by local media to have said.

It should be noted that the bidding process is very critical to any nuclear power project. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) titled “Invitation and Evaluation of Bids for Nuclear Power Plants”, detailed the requirements and processes for ensuring a successful bid.

“The development of a nuclear programme is a major undertaking requiring attention to many complex and interrelated tasks over a long duration. One of them is the bidding process, which includes the development of bid invitations specifications, the evaluation of bids and the contracting with the successful bidder (contractor). The necessary infrastructure should be developed to the point of readiness for a bidding process to acquire a nuclear power plant (NPP). Therefore, the preparatory phase preceding the bidding process includes numerous activities, such as but not limited to, energy system planning, siting and feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment, development of nuclear related legislation, financing, organization of the regulatory authority, etc,” part of the report said.

Nigeria is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and as such is required to strictly adhere to the requirements for bids. And ultimately, the goal is to ensure that the successful bidder (i.e., the winning contractor) has all it takes to enable the licensing, construction, commissioning and operation of a nuclear power plant.

https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/markets/nigeria-invites-bids-as-it-prepares-to-construct-its-first-nuclear-power-plant/tdn7nn2

Ghana looks to small modular reactor technology for nuclear deployment

ESI Africa

ByTheresa SmithMar 9, 2022

network resilience
[SERZ72] © 123RF.COM

The US and Ghana will partner under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) to support the West African country’s foray into the nuclear sector.

The FIRST programme, led by the US Department of State, will support Ghana’s adoption of small modular reactor (SMR) technology. This includes support for stakeholder engagement, advanced technical collaboration and project evaluation and planning. Japan has been a valuable partner with the US on the FIRST programme and will build on its existing partnership with Ghana to advance Ghana’s civil nuclear power aspirations.

Have you read?
US and Ghana sign memorandum with a focus on nuclear

Speaking at a virtual launch of the programme, US Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan said clean, reliable and safe nuclear energy could provide significant benefits to the people of Ghana, including clean energy, agricultural improvements, clean water and advanced medical treatment. “Next-generation nuclear energy, like what we’re working on today, must be part of the solution,” said Sullivan.

According to Ghana’s Minister of Energy Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the decision to include nuclear power in the nation’s energy mix has led to establishing Nuclear Power Ghana Limited as an Owner Operator and project developer. The FIRST Programme will help Ghana develop the competencies of the Nuclear Power Ghana Limited to build and operate safely Ghana’s first nuclear power plant.

From the archives
The drive for an African nuclear energy market

Drawing on 60 years of US experience working with nuclear energy, the FIRST programme provides capacity-building support to partner countries as they develop their nuclear energy programmes. To date, the US Department of State has announced $7.3 million to support FIRST projects around the world.

Professor Samuel Boakye Dampare, Director General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission the capacity building activities are meant to strengthen their national technical support organisation. “For us regulators, our success will be a very stringent, logical and transparent licensing regime that emphases safety throughout the lifetime of our future power plants(s), whether SMRs or larger reactors,” said Dampare.

Initial training in Ghana during 2022 will focus on stakeholder engagement, licensing and regulatory development, financing, workforce development and nuclear security, safety and non-proliferation.

https://lnkd.in/gKAH-teY

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

U.S. Geopolitics Exposes Itself in CFR report on China’s Belt and Road-Will Africa benefit?

China’s Belt and Road Initiative- BRI (Courtesy of dailysabah.com)

February12, 2022

Lawrence Freeman

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) March 2021 report: China’s Belt and Road: Implications for the United States, would be humorous, if it was not so pitiful. In the course of almost 200 pages, the CFR, the premiere think tank of the U.S. Establishment, maligns China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), but admits that the success of the BRI is the result of a failure of U.S. policy. The entire analysis is inherently flawed from the beginning because it proceeds from the axioms of the diseased doctrine of geo-politics, which views the world as a zero-sum game. Rather than understanding that the world is composed of human beings and sovereign nations who share a common interest, Anglo-American devotees of geopolitics only see two sides. In this case, China, and the U.S., where “an advantage to one side is a loss to the other.”   

The CFR report is replete with a compilation of:

  • Contradictions
  • Speculation that BRI nations debt to China “might” or “could” lead to economic distress
  • China is not playing by the international rules imposed by Western international financial institutions
  • Recommendations that do not address the reasons for the success of the BRI, but instead propose new forms of political-economic warfare to undermine China.

The report’s Executive Summary bluntly states:

“U.S. inaction as much as Chinese assertiveness is responsible for the economic and strategic predicament in which the United States finds itself. U.S. withdrawal helped create the vacuum that China filled with BRI…it [the U.S.] has not met the inherent needs of the region.” (emphasis added)  

US Infrastructure Investment?

US stopped loaning money to Africa for infrastructure for several decades

It is well known that beginning in the 1970s, the U.S. moved away from investing in hard infrastructure. Hard infrastructure is essential to the growth of the physical economy. It is irreplaceable in providing a platform that is the foundation of a healthy economy. The U.S. abandoned the needs of the majority of the nations of the world and foolishly sabotaged the U.S. economy as well.

According to estimates by the World Bank sited in this report:

“…$97 trillion needs to be spent on infrastructure globally by 2040 in order to maintain economic growth and to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals, but an $18 trillion gap exists.”

The report acknowledges that Western financial institutions and governments do not fund hard infrastructure.

Should BRI nations be punished for trying to improve the lives of their population by accepting China’s financing help? The African continent, which has the largest infrastructure deficit in the world, encounters a gap upwards of $100 billion a year for essential infrastructure investment.

The report itself admits the global benefits of the BRI:

“Since BRI’s launch in 2013, Chinese banks and companies have financed and built everything from power plants, railways, highways, and ports to telecommunications infrastructure, fiber-optic cables, and smart cities around the world…BRI has the potential to meet long-standing developing country needs and spur global economic growth.” (emphasis added)

 Geopolitics Governs Western Thinking

If the CFR were genuinely concerned about addressing the huge lack of hard infrastructure that is keeping nations underdeveloped and forcing  billions of people around the world to live in poverty, they would propose the U.S. collaborate with the BRI. However, they are more concerned in trying to maintain U.S. unipolar dominance.

For those of you who do not know, the Council on Foreign Relations is a 100 year old arm of the Anglo-American establishment. Founded in 1921 as the American branch of the British Royal Institute for International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House, which was createdtwo years earlier. Chatham House was created by Lord Alfred Milner, then acting as Secretary of State for the British Empire’s colonies, through a vast trust funded by the estate of race-patriot Cecil Rhodes.

(Courtesy of slideshare.net)

The CFR report makes clear their fear of China usurping the U.S. as the one and only world superpower when they write that the BRI will “enable China to lock countries into Chinese ecosystems…“The report attacks China for the crime of violating the so called free-trade system by subsidizing “state-owned and non–market oriented Chinese companies” and that the BRI is “undermining world macroeconomic stability.”

Nevertheless, the report states: The United States, even if not formally part of BRI, would likely benefit in some ways if BRI builds infrastructure that accelerates global economic growth.” (emphasis added)

The actual threat for the Western financial system, overburdened with quadrillions of dollars of derivatives and unpayable debts, is that it will be outperformed by China, dislodging the U.S. from its perch as the sole economic superpower.

No Debt Trap, Debt Crisis Instead

The CFR report is forced to admit there is no Chinese debt-trap, and no asset seizure.

“Although not setting explicit debt traps, China’s lending practices contribute to debt crisis along BRI.” However, “there has yet to be a case in which China has taken control of other countries’ infrastructure.”

Revealing their real concern, the report speculates, “the risk is clear that countries unable to repay their debts to China could become clients of China, deferring to it on political or strategic issues.”

The CFR report, while explicitly acknowledging multiple times that there is no debt-trap, argues that Chinese BRI loans are driving the “emerging debt crisis,” threatening todisruptthe global financial system. They write: “When these emerging debt crises in BRI countries materialize, they will undermine global economic growth and macroeconomic stability…”

They also allege that: “BRI participants [will be forced] to choose between meeting debt-service requirements to China or funding local economic recovery and critical medical services at a moment of historic crisis.” Isn’t that precisely what the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have been demanding of developing nations for the last several decades?

China dwarfs the West in infrastructure investment

Gyude More, the former Minister of Infrastructure in Liberia, has on multiple occasions pointed out the fallacies of claiming that China is causing debt distress in African nations. He estimates that Africa’s debt to China is between 20-23%, with a handful of African nations responsible for the majority of the debt. Approximately 80% of the continent’s debt is owed to multilateral Western financial institutions, the private sector, and hedge funds.

Moore cogently points out that prior to China’s involvement in the continent, African nations were forced to pay debt service and arrears on unpayable Western loans. Africans also received no benefit from multi-billion dollar Western extractive mining interests that looted Africa’s resources, contributing little or nothing to improving the conditions of life for Africans. With China there is a new “win-win” model. Moore explains that natural resources are instead used to secure loans from China to actually build vitally needed infrastructure that benefits the lives of Africans. Why should African nations reject this arrangement, which also comes with no demands for political of financial reform of the host nation? The West “doth protest too much, methinks.”

CFR Proposals: Impotent or Geopolitical?

The recommendations of the CFR report are a combination of impotency and geopolitical idiocy, arrogantly displaying no respect for the sovereignty of BRI nations. However, the report itself affirms that China’s BRI is a reality across the globe, and it is here to stay. All of the recommendations in this report avoid addressing what the BRI is providing; government subsidized credit for the construction of hard infrastructure. Instead, they recommend for the U.S. to menacingly wage geopolitical propaganda war against China and the BRI. Their suggestions include for the U.S. to; raise awareness of BRI risks, fund investigative journalism in BRI countries, champion anticorruption, work with IMF and World Bank to assess debt sustainability for BRI nations, and prepare for a conflict with BRI countries.

Notice the glaring absence of a positive development policy that promotes real economic growth around the world, demonstrating the bankruptcy of U.S. foreign policy, as well as the CFR.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Africa’s ‘poverty trap’ more dangerous than so-called debt trap

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the completion ceremony of the Chinese-built oil terminal at the port of Mombasa in Mombasa, Kenya, January 6, 2022. /Xinhua

Lawrence Freeman

CGTN, January 24, 2022

Editor’s note: Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst on Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. The article reflects the author’s opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

In his visit to Kenya on January 6, 2022, China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, emphasized China’s support for economic progress in Africa, and in particular, the Horn of Africa.

Wang was continuing China’s 32-year-old tradition of having their foreign minister begin each year with an overseas trip to Africa. In the first week of January, Wang met with officials in Eritrea, Kenya and Comoros. Both Eritrea and Kenya are located in East Africa, a region where Ethiopia, the second most populated nation in Africa, is engaged in a 14-month war to defeat an armed insurrection led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Kenya, an important ally of China, is a key nation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Maritime Silk Road.

Eliminating poverty

Wang, in his press conference, focused on the number one challenge facing Africa: poverty and the extremely low standard of living affecting the majority of its 1.4 billion people.

He polemically stated,”If there is any trap in Africa, it is the trap of poverty and the trap of backwardness,” which he counterposed to the so-called debt trap that he referred to as a “speech trap” created by the West. China speaks with authority, which has accomplished a modern day miracle in lifting over 750 million of its people out of extreme poverty and has pledged to help Africa do the same.

A woman fills up her water jerrycan in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, January 1, 2022. /VCG

China’s approach to the current challenges in the Horn of Africa is in stark contrast to that of the U.S. Instead of punishing Eastern African nations with sanctions and economic warfare, China is promoting peace and economic development. According to Wang, China will appoint a special envoy for the region, with the goal:

“To support the Horn of Africa in realizing lasting stability, peace and prosperity, China is willing to put forward the ‘Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa’ and support regional countries in addressing the triple challenges of security, development and governance.”

Emphasizing China’s infrastructure-led economic approach, Wang encouraged nations of the region to “accelerate regional revitalization to overcome development challenges,” adding that “the two principal axes, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, and the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, should be enlarged and enhanced with the aim of expanding to neighboring countries at an opportune moment.”

Wang announced that China would provide an additional 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to Kenya which follows President Xi Jinping’s November pledge at the Forum on China Africa Cooperation conference in Dakar, to make 1 billion doses available to Africa.

China’s policy guided by development

The dominant feature of China’s relation to Africa is development, contrary to the Western geopolitical propaganda against China. The infrastructure-driven BRI has made physical improvements in African economies through the construction of railways, roads, power generation capacity, ports and airports. There is not a single Western nation that even remotely compares to China’s level of investment in Africa.

As every African leader knows well, if China were to cease offering loans for infrastructure, there would be no Western nation to address the continent’s huge deficit in the field, and African nations would suffer terribly.

The U.S. has failed to modernize its own rail network and is incapable of building advanced transportation corridors in other countries, while China had constructed around 40,000 kilometers of high-speed rail by the end of 2021.

Unlike U.S. officials who travel to African nations, Chinese representatives do not attach political conditionalities or arrogantly dictate what domestic policies must be adopted by their host countries. Instead, China is thoughtful by responding to the most critical and urgent needs of African nations. That is the elimination of poverty, which necessitates massive investments in hard and soft infrastructure.

Africa-s-poverty-trap-more-dangerous-than-so-called-debt-trap

Read my earlier posts:

Chinese ‘Debt Trap” is a Myth-Biden Would be Wise Not to Continue Trump’s Attacks on China in Africa 

China-Africa Debt Trap Refuted Again. Belt and Road Building Infrastructure-Developing Africa

A Brief Response: Marshall Plan for Africa or “Debt Trap?”

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Africans Combating Covid-19 With Vaccines and Leadership

January 14, 2022

Promising News from Africa CDC 

In an important interview, At Least 9 African Countries to Produce Covid Vaccines, Dr. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported on the progress Africa is making in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic. It was published by The World on January 5, 2022

For Africa to vaccinate its entire population of 1.5 billion people, the continent must shift from total dependence on vaccine supplies from other nations. I have written on the necessity of African nations to have their own manufacturing and distribution capability to vaccinate their entire populations. This would require massive investments in all categories of hard and soft infrastructure, which African nations already desperately need. All epidemiologists know that as long as hundreds of millions of Africans remain unvaccinated, the virus will spread and mutate, endangering the entire planet. It is in the self-interest of the developing sector  to help African nations develop their own indigenous capability to manufacture and distribute vaccines to defeat covid-19. Our goal for African nations should be nothing less than 100% vaccination before the end of this year.

Read my earlier posts below.

The exciting news  from Dr. John Nkengasong is that several African nations are in the process of preparing to produce their own vaccines.

“A lot has happened and continues to happen in the course of this pandemic. The heads of states came together and launched a program called Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing. And through that partnership, at least nine countries on the continent have engaged in the pathway for producing vaccines, including South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Egypt. Egypt, for example, is already producing about 3.5 million doses of vaccines. We know that South Africa is now producing vaccines. So I think you’ll continue to see that the landscape will change significantly in 2022.” (emphasis added

Speaking on the impact of Covid-19 on the existing AIDS pandemic in Africa, the Director the Africa CDC said: 

“I think it is important to know that we are dealing with two pandemics across the world. The HIV/AIDS pandemic and COVID[-19] is a pandemic that has just emerged over the last two years. And very unfortunately, and very concerning, is the interaction of the two pandemics. We now know that people infected with HIV tend to not clear the virus, that is, the COVID-19 virus, appropriately, especially if they have not been fully treated — and that has the risk of creating variants. We don’t know what the trajectory for COVID[-19] will look like in the coming years, but we know that HIV has been with us for 40 years [and] has killed almost 37 million people. Tremendous gains have been made in the fight against HIV, especially in Africa. But we should be mindful of what COVID[-19] can do to erode the significant progress that we have made in achieving remarkable progress in controlling HIV/AIDS over the years.” (emphasis added)

Rwanda Provides Vaccination Leadership

According  to Dr. Nkengasong:

“Africa remains the world’s least vaccinated continent against COVID-19, with about 10% of the continent’s population fully vaccinated. Only seven African countries have met the global target of vaccinating 40% of their populations against COVID-19 by the end of 2021.” 

In an article published on January 4th: What is Behind Rwanda’s Rapid Covid19 Vaccination Drive?, author Betrand Byishimo analyzes the Rwanda’s success in achieving one of the highest vaccination rates on the African continent.

Rwanda is only one of seven African nations to reach the goal set by the World Health Organization, of vaccinating over 40% of its population of 13.5 million in 2021.

Rwanda has delivered 13.9 million doses of the vaccine and has vaccinated 43.9% of its population, according to ourworldindata.org. The U.S. with access to the vaccine for over one year, has only vaccinated 62% of the American population.

According to the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, “the nation’s central health implementation agency,” as of January 13th: 7,851,445 Rwandans have received one dose; 6,030,321 have received both doses; and 516,062 have been given their booster shots. Rwanda is also one of the nine African nations working to manufacture the covid-19 vaccine itself.

Byishimo reports that a mere 102 million Africans “equivalent to 8% of the African population” have been vaccinated. He writes:

“Considering the hoarding and protectionism of the vaccine, it is of interest to find out how Rwanda managed to achieve these global milestones amidst the suffering continent of Africa.”

Civilization will not survive the stark reality that the fastest growing population in the world is the least vaccinated.

Rwanda is clearly doing something right that should be emulated across the continent and supported by the developed nations.

A Rwanda government official succinctly summarizes the reasons for his nation’s accomplishment.

A resident receives the covid19 jab at Nyabugogo Taxis Park on December 13, 2021.Early January 2022, over 5.5 million Rwandans had been fully vaccinated while above 7.7 M people had obtained their first dose . / Dan Nsengiyumva

“Effective leadership, institutional readiness, long term health sector infrastructure investments and partnership.

On top of working hard to secure vaccines, including paying high cost from its budget, the Government of Rwanda allowed its people free access to the vaccine. The buy-in of the people on the vaccine showed  the trust the people have towards their leadership. Covid-19 also showed institutional readiness; ability to rollout the vaccine nationally as soon as the vaccines arrived in Rwanda. There is also evidence that Rwanda reaped from its long term investments in the health sector infrastructure.”

READ: At Least 9 African Countries to Produce Covid Vaccines

READ: What is Behind Rwanda’s Rapid Covid19 Vaccination Drive?

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.