African Youth Favor China’s Development Policy Over the U.S.

Africa’s youth recognize China’s contributions to the continent.

June 29, 2022

According to a recent survey by Ichikowitz Family Foundation, African youth favor China’s involvement on the continent over that of the United States.

In an article from the VOA-Voice of America, China wins battle of perception among young Africans, they report:

“Seventy-seven percent of young Africans said China was the ‘foreign actor’ with the greatest impact on the continent, while giving the U.S. an influence rating of just 67%. In a follow-up question on whether that influence was positive or negative, 76% said China’s was positive, while 72% said the same of the U.S.

“By contrast, U.S. influence has dropped by 12% since 2020, according to the survey of more than 4,500 Africans 18 to 24 years old and living in 15 countries across Africa.”

One of the primary reasons for their choices is: “Beijing’s investments in infrastructure development on the continent and China’s creation of job opportunities in African countries.” (Emphasis added)

Ivor Ichikowitz said:

“Young Africans are telling us that they are seeing tangible, visible and very impactful signs of the role that China has played in the development of Africa.”

“Albeit that there is significant criticism of Chinese investment in Africa, it’s very difficult for African governments not to value China because China is providing capital, providing expertise, providing markets at a time when Europe and the United States are not.” 

China Embraces Economic Transformation of Africa

The Journal of International Development published in May of this year, Economic Transformation in Africa: What is the role of Chinese firms? This research paper explains why China has surpassed the U.S. in favorability among African youth.

The abstract of this paper bluntly states exactly what Western geopolitical ideologies still refuse to accept:

 “Africa–China trade leads to mixed results, while Chinese investment and infrastructure construction are found to contribute positively to transformation. Chinese firms are also found to support capacity building, spillovers, and innovation in African countries.”

The authors have identified a central concept. African nations need Economic Transformation (ET), which is not equal to simplistic and false notions of economic growth measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

They correctly explain the difference in their introduction:

“The process of economic transformation (ET), indicating the changes affecting the structure of an economy, is at the core of development. While GDP growth is often used as a metric for development, it simply points to an expansion of a country’s economic size, but it does not guarantee that the economy has become more diversified, resilient to shocks or inclusive. Conversely, ET, indicating a transition from an economy based on traditional agriculture to one where modern sectors take the central place, can deliver job creation, diversification, and inclusive development.

“Today, African countries face an ET gap. While many African economies have grown over the last few decades, their structure has not transformed. In contrast with other regions of the world, where the majority of people are employed in the secondary and tertiary sectors, a large share of Africa’s labor force works in agriculture and related activities, where average productivity is lower.

“When Chinese economic engagement with Africa started intensifying at the turn of the century, it raised hopes for ET. China’s extraordinary growth and poverty reduction performance could be a model for African countries; and with China as a trade, investment and development partner, African economies could hope to follow a similar path. African engagement with China was deemed particularly promising for industrialization on the continent. (Emphasis added)

Regrettably, both for the U.S., and Africa, and the rest of the developing sector, the West no longer believes in economic transformation. The U.S. in particular, is no longer devoted to fostering economic development for itself or other nations, contrary to many outstanding periods of its history. Whatever shortcomings exist in China’s relationship to Africa, China is committed to promoting real economic development i.e., economic transformation on the African continent. Yet Western governments continually attack China and its Belt and Road Initiative for assisting African nations in addressing the most critical deficiency in their economies; the lack of infrastructure and a manufacturing sector.

Many people, including so called economic experts fail to understand that money is not the basis of economic growth. The addition of all the monetary values of an economy’s goods and services measured in GDP, does not determine economic growth. The only proper, scientific measure of economy is not monetary values, but the ability of each particular mode of economic production to provide an increased standard of living to an expanding population. A physical economist  like myself understands, that it is those physical inputs that lead to an increase in the performance-output of the productive powers of labor that determines real economic growth. Infrastructure and manufacturing capacity are crucial physical inputs required for economic transformation.

That is what the Chinese are providing for Africa, unlike the West. Could that be why young Africans think more approvingly of China’s policies in Africa than the U.S.?

Read the entire  paper: Economic Transformation in Africa: What is the role of Chinese firms?

Read my earlier post: Africa Needs Real Economic Growth, Not IMF Accountants; For the Development of Africa: Know and Apply Franklin Roosevelt’s Credit Policy

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 a writer, researcher, and consultant, and 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.

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.

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.

Ethiopia Must Exert Its National Sovereignty From U.S. Sanctions

February 21, 2022

Watch my video above.

Perhaps, it is fitting that on the U.S. holiday–“Presidents Day”–that I, as an American, should be demanding that my President, Joe Biden, stop threatening Ethiopia with more sanctions. Geopolitical doctrine requires U.S. control of the vitally important water way along the East Coast of Africa. U.S. geopolitics cannot allow strategy for the Horn of Africa to be decided by independent minded African leaders such as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and Eritrea President, Isaias Afwerki. President Biden and the U.S. State Department under Antony Blinken will demand concessions from PM Abiy as they talk of resuming a cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Ethiopia. At the same time, they will allow the US Congress to threaten Ethiopia with more disgusting sanctions in HR6600, if Ethiopia does not make concessions. It is known as the “soft cop-hard cop” approach. Ethiopia should exercise its sovereignty and chart a path for the development of its nation. The operation of the first turbine of the GERD producing 375 megawatts of electricity, portends the right direction.

Review news coverage below

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.

I Came to Addis to Defend Ethiopia and Represent the True Interests of the U.S.A.

The short video above is a news story on my lecture at Addis Ababa University. The longer video below is an extensive interview with Prime Media.

Discussion with Lawrence Freeman: Africa, Ethiopia, and Geo-Politics

December 21, 2021

Why I Came to Ethiopia

I was on the ground in Addis Ababa, from November 28 – December 10, to defend Ethiopia and represent the true interests of the United States. During that time in Addis, I conducted sixteen interviews and gave a two hour lecture at Addis Ababa University. I came to Ethiopia as an American, who, knowledgeable of the origins of my country, knows that the current U.S. policy towards Ethiopia is wrong and dangerous.

Understanding the intent of the psychological warfare campaign conducted by Western nations, international media, and most especially, my own United States Department of State, I knew the most important place for me to be, was in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

As I anticipated, all was calm and normal in this bustling city, with unending construction of new buildings. Through multiple media outlets I was able to expose the lies of the false narrative about Ethiopia and counter the psychological warfare campaign being waged against the Ethiopian people.

It was and remains my responsibility to defeat this campaign against Ethiopia and present what America’s true interest are in Africa.

Lawrence Freeman standing in front of the Addis Ababa skyline

Disinformation Campaign

The U.S. embassy sent out daily disinformation that Addis was in danger of attack from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) located in the town of Dessie, less than two hundred miles north of the city. Even after government forces pushed the TPLF out of Dessie, the U.S. embassy continued to encourage Americans to leave Addis and went as far as offering to buy their tickets to return home. Ned Price, press spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, attempted to create even more fear and hysteria, by officially announcing the U.S. would not be conducting a military airlift for Americans like it did in Afghanistan this past August.

Various news programs accompanied the State Department’s fraudulent comparison of Addis and Kabul with videos of an American plane taking off from the Kabul airport leaving desperate people behind on the runway. This disgusting and outrageous comparison between Addis and Kabul, was deliberately and knowingly untruthful.

Those who believe the U.S. has not taken “sides” do not comprehend political warfare. And do not understand the intent of geo-political forces in the administration of President Biden and other western governments for regime change of the duly elected Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed.

Relaxing at a restaurant off Meskel Square, Addis Ababa

More ominously for Ethiopia than Ned Price, the New York Times, the premiere organ of the U.S. Establishment, articulated the geo-political intent for regime change. In a blatant “hit job,” advocating the necessity of removing the “sinister” Prime Minister Abiy at all costs, The Times published on December 15,  The Nobel Peace Prize That Paved the Way for War. This article maliciously portrays Prime Minister Abiy as a maniacal ruthless leader only bent on destroying the TPLF and caring nothing for Ethiopia. Its intent should obliterate any ambiguity regarding U.S. geo-political policy for Ethiopia.

It is vital for the Ethiopian government, its people, Ethiopian diaspora, and friends and allies, to understand the geo-political determination to weaken the authority of Prime Minister Abiy or remove him from office. However, simultaneously it is necessary to think beyond the current military campaign. The government should prepare now for what is required as soon as this conflict is over. It is imperative for the future of the nation that Ethiopia engage in two crucial missions:

  1. Articulate a comprehensive reconstruction plan that includes the economic development of all regions of the nation in building a prosperous Ethiopia. Farms, schools, hospitals, and all kinds of necessary infrastructure will need to be rebuilt and expanded in Tigray and across northern Ethiopia. Let us use this post war mission to unify the nation around a national economic mobilization to improve the conditions of life for all Ethiopians.
  2. Commence a national dialogue to discuss/debate the supremacy ofthe concept of being a citizen of a sovereign nation as opposed to membership in an ethnic group. Ethiopia’s national identity must be strengthened, and the partisan influence of ethnic dominated regionalism reduced.

Normal traffic in Addis Ababa

America’s Real Interests

America was not created to intervene against sovereign nations like Ethiopia. Today, we are still witnessing the death and destruction across the Sahel caused by President Obama’s military intervention ten years ago when the U.S. overthrew and killed Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

There is no objective reason for discord between the U.S. and Ethiopia. None! The conflict between the two nations exists entirely because President Biden has allowed his policy towards Ethiopia to be determined by the globalist-humanitarian-democracy cabal. They arrogantly believe they have the right to impose their so-called democratic-humanitarian construct on Ethiopia. Dictating how Ethiopia should be governed, and who should govern it.

The United States, created to be a Democratic-Republic, was founded on the economic theories of Alexander Hamilton, endorsed by President George Washington. These principles, known as the American System of Political Economy, have guided our more thoughtful U.S. presidents in conducting foreign and domestic policy.

The U.S. in its better moments, unlike the last few decades, has supported the right of governments to preserve the sovereignty of their nation. President Abraham Lincoln was prepared to continue the war, which costs the lives of 750,000 Americans, to defeat the efforts by the southern Confederacy to break up the Union. For President Lincoln, there was no greater importance than safeguarding the sovereign Union of the U.S., and no limit to his actions for that purpose.

The author giving a lecture at Addis Ababa University

As a result of Hamilton’s dominant influence, the U.S. was committed to economic development from its very inception and desired the same for all other nations. Sadly, the last U.S. president who understood the critical importance of economic development for African nations was President Kennedy–almost sixty years ago. To the detriment of the U.S. and the world, America has lost its mission and its vision to create a better future for humankind. The shining “city on the hill” has become a quite a bit dimmer.

The true underlying interests of the U.S. and the American people is exactly the same as that of Ethiopia and its people. All nations have the same shared-common goals:

  1. Improving the material standard of living for its citizens and ensuring a better future for their children and  grandchildren.
  2. Nurturing the creative potential of the mind of every child to enhance their ability to contribute to the development of humanity.

The foundation of a real American foreign policy should rest on these two pillars of statecraft. From this higher strategic perspective, Ethiopia, and the U.S., have no fundamental insurmountable disagreements that would prevent the two nations from engaging in policies that will mutually benefit its people now and for the future.

Read my earlier post: Biden’s Economic Warfare Only Hurts Ethiopians–Who Benefits?

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.

My website had a break-out year in 2021 with over 107,000 visitors. Please subscribe to my blog.

Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone the best during this holiday season

U.S. Diplomats Collaborate With TPLF to Plot Removal of PM Abiy From Governing Ethiopia

November 26, 2021

It is instructive to read Jeff Pearce’s article; Ethiopia: Western Diplomats Meet in Secret to Decide How to Help the TPLF , based on the secret zoom meeting with retired Western diplomats, including a former U.S. offical, and Berhane Gebre-Christos, leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front-TPLF. Their secret discussion was on how to remove Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed from office . Watch the video of the zoom meeting above.

I have known for a long time that the certain Western forces have wanted to weaken Ethiopia’s duly elected Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. Now we have the proof. Open collaboration of Western diplomats with the TPLF, labelled a terrorist group by the Ethiopian government, to bring down Prime Minister Abiy. These used up diplomats want the TPLF to succeed in militarily defeating Ethiopia’s army and overthrowing the government, which was elected by over 40 million Ethiopians. This is regime change! This is a real scandal, given the stated position of neutrality by the U.S government. Shame on the Biden administration.

There are also TPLF sympathizers currently in the U.S. government, who are directing President Joe Biden to weaken the sovereign nation of Ethiopia.

As an American, with exceptional knowledge of Africa and Ethiopia, I will continue to fight to prevent President Biden from destroying the Horn of Africa, like his Democratic predecessor, President Obama, did to Libya and the Sahel, ten years ago.

Below are excerpts from Pearce’s article.

The West’s Horn of Africa experts have been meeting with a TPLF leader and TPLF/OLF supporters in secret, even as its governments claim to be impartial — TPLF’s Berhane Gebre-Christos speaks as TPLF member, proposed head of “transitional government.

Donald Yamamoto, recently the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia who just retired this year, to TPLF official Berhane Gebre-Christos:

“Abiy is not listening… Obasanjo has not been extraordinary helpful or very active, and so are there any other opportunities that you see?”

Vicki Huddleston, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs and US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, speaking to Berhane Gebre-Christos:

I couldn’t agree more that you know, Abiy should step down, there should be an all-inclusive transition government.”

Former ambassadors and current diplomats for the United States, Britain and EU had a Zoom meeting this past Sunday with an official for the TPLF in what amounts to a green light from the West for the terrorist group’s attempts to overthrow the democratically elected Ethiopian government. And there’s evidence to prove it: a phone-cam video of the two-hour meeting.

“I hope that you’ll have military success fairly soon, because it seems as if the situation is only becoming more drastic,” said Vicki Huddleston, who was Chargé d’Affairs ad interim in Ethiopia during years the TPLF were in power.

France’s retired diplomat and writer Stéphane Gompertz openly speculated on the potential for Abiy to be forced from power. “Even if Abiy sticks to his guns, which unfortunately he seems to be doing, you either hope that people around him either in government or in the military realize that this is going nowhere and might force him to, well, accept the cessation of hostilities or force him to step down?”

The Western powers — Britain, the EU and especially the United States — have been posturing for months that they have not taken sides in the conflict and are pushing negotiations only in the interests of peace. But the Zoom talk rips away the façade, revealing a chummy circle of foreign policy elite, both retired and still active who mostly know each other and are in sympathy with TPLF objectives. They include Donald Yamamoto, one of the U.S. government’s most senior Africa experts who just retired this year as the American ambassador to Somalia, and Spain’s diplomat Carmen de la Peña.

Read the complete article: Ethiopia: Western Diplomats Meet in Secret to Decide How to Help the TPLF

Read my earlier posts:

Will President Biden’s Sanctions vs Ethiopia Cause Suffering for Hundreds of Millions of Africans

Biden’s Sanctions Could Plague Ethiopia and Africa for Generations

 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.

Biden Government Must Replace Regime Change for Ethiopia With Policy for Economic Development

November 22, 2021

In an interview with Addis Media Network, on November 18, 2021, I discuss how we must fight against efforts for regime change in Ethiopia, and instead promote a policy for economic development. I identify that the so called mainstream media are not objective truth seekers, but part of the propaganda arm of the political-economic elite–an oligarchy. The West refuses to respect the sovereignty of Ethiopia and the elected government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. President Joe Biden is pursuing a dangerous policy of economic and political warfare against Ethiopia and its people. The enemies of Ethiopia will use humanitarian concerns as an excuse to potentially deploy military forces under the pretext of protection the Ethiopian people from their own government. This doctrine, known as R2P-the responsibility to protect- was created by George Soros and Tony Blair. Samantha Power and others in the Obama administration used R2P to justify the overthrow of President Kaddafi and the destruction of Libya.

Ethiopia must be allowed to pursue its commitment to development and the elimination of poverty. We need a united Ethiopia, with a single conception of Ethiopian citizenry, not one based on ethnicity.  Unfortunately, U.S. President, Joe Biden, does not understand the true interests of the continent, and is allowing his administration to be used against the people of Africa and Ethiopia. Ethiopian diaspora should be united in defeating regime and allowing Ethiopia to once again lead Africa along the path of economic growth.   

 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.

China’s Belt & Road is Helping Empower African Nations to Realize Their Economic Potential

November 15, 2021

Please watch my 45 minute presentation to the Special Session on Africa, at the ICG 16 in Qingdao, China, on October 25, 2021, entitled: “How China Is Empowering Africa’s Self Development.”

I discuss as a physical economist the critical importance of infrastructure in developing a progressive pro-growth economy. Expansion of vital categories of infrastructure, such as railroads and electricity is the most essential task for African nations today. I present in detail how China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is assisting African nations in developing their economies. The West, dominated by the disease known as “geo-politics” is spreading false propaganda against China’s investment in Africa. I expose their their anti-China propaganda regarding so called “debt-trap” diplomacy. Viewing my presentation will prove valuable to those familiar and those unfamiliar with China’s cooperative relationship wit African nations.

Please watch: Africa-China: Belt and Road

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.