China’s relationship and intention with [in] Africa, as laid out in its “Belt and Road Initiative” is clearly comparable to that of a commercial farmer with/on hired farmland and his animals. Plough the land, plant, harvest and ship out everything. Feed the animals, let them grow, sell them. Repeat the process!
This demonstrates or helps explain China’s interest and great emphasis on building infrastructure in Africa. It is to China’s great benefit, although to some degree, one might argue – and indeed, this is the prevailing narrative pervaded and promoted by African governments in their “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)” attraction initiatives – that it is to Africa’s interest as well.
However the fundamental motive and the benefits to both are not the same, and this is a critical aspect of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in Africa that is ignored and lost in the euphoria and admiration for the infrastructure edifices erected by the Chinese but which ought to be closely examined by African governments.
China is building Chinese, and not African, infrastructure in Africa primarily for the benefit of Chinese interests, that is, to facilitate and further Chinese interests; not African interests. African interests are not the priority to China but, if one may say, secondary or merely an unintended positive consequence of a primarily and purely exploitative strategy and motive by China in Africa.
With China’s interest in Africa and its dubious and aggressive “investment” strategy [plan], it is quite likely – if the current trend is left to continue unchecked, unregulated and if African governments and their officials don’t wake up to the fact that, through their “Foreign Direct Investment” attraction Initiatives – they are either wilfully or foolishly signing away and selling their countries to foreign corporations mainly to China which is systematically, through its BRI, resettling its nationals in Africa.
Chinese nationals who go to African countries under the “Belt and Road Initiative” rarely go back to China, they settle. This is because of weak or non existent proper and effective immigration and emigration systems and procedures.
In 30 to 50 years from now – not a very long time – Africans, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, will be the dominated and subjugated minority population and the Chinese, constituting the dominant and subjugating majority population. The African population will be protesting and demanding for equality, equal rights and all the socioeconomic amenities that any and all subjugated minorities anywhere, tend to be deprived of by the dominant and subjugating majority. They will be fighting for a small piece of land on which to live, on what was once theirs in the first place but sold off to the Chinese and other foreign [private] interests by the current generation of African government officials with a ‘buccaneering’ mindset, for their personal greed.
We are truly witnessing history repeat itself in the twenty first century in our wake – under our watch – the kind of history when African chiefs sold off their lands and people for western (European colonial) and Arab fake shiny gold and diamond plated worthless pieces of trinkets.
What we are witnessing is shrouded in the dubious “Foreign Direct Investment” attraction initiatives by many African governments, which they use to deprive their people of their property, confiscate their ancestral land under the dubious claims that land is the property of the State. The reality is that there’s hardly such concept as the “State” in much of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Government is the almighty authority and the State.
But once land is confiscated under the pretext of the interests of the State, it is sold off or freely handed over to foreign private interests who in turn, promise such government officials a slew of worthless intangible deliverables, as long as it satisfies both their greed and allays their fears for, primarily loss of their power grip.