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Why Did Russia Write Off Africa’s Debts?

10 8 0
19.11.2019

The news that has been making headlines following the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi (October 23-24, 2019) is Russia’s cancellation of $20 billion worth of debt which African countries had accumulated. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the move when speaking at the event. The statement has sparked an intense debate in the media and online. Many people have not been able to comprehend this charitable act, who believe it was too generous and pointless. This gesture indicates that the Russians, who have been keeping an eye on China, are looking to renew relations with countries on the African continent.

China has been ramping up its economic activity in Africa at a dizzying pace, and has already penetrated all of the most important areas of the continent’s economic life: energy, the industrial sector, transport, mining, etc. China is investing a huge amount of money in Africa: within the last 4 years alone, China has invested about $120 billion (Chinese President XI Jinping promised $60 billion at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 2015 Summit, and another $60 billion at the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018), after all, cooperation between China and Africa has been developing for several decades.

Thanks to its investments, China has essentially become the most influential economic force on the African continent, and has been making full use of Africa’s vast resources: minerals (most importantly the continent’s fossil fuels, which China imports from Africa in massive quantities), labor resources (back in the day, Western countries once relocated their production to China........

© New Eastern Outlook