Rabat – High levels of Chinese aid to African states have had a “harmful effect” on human rights and economic development across Africa, warns a report by the International Monetary Fund, published September 2017.
In recent years, China has made a shift in the nature of its international economic relationships, capitalizing on its ability to offer investments, aid, and various forms of financial support to African economies.
The county’s leaders have said that if China wants to promote its economic and geopolitical ambitions more effectively, itneeds to implement stronger foreign economic policies.
In Morocco alone, China has made a surge of investments in numerous economic sectors. Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in Morocco increased 195 percent between 2011 and 2015, with a 93 percent increase between 2014 and 2015 alone.
Morocco continues to attract Beijing’s attention in the fields of tourism and technology, with Casablanca hosting the China-Morocco Trade Week in December 2017.
The Asian giant has beengiving loans to other states in the continent that are either incapable ofraising capital in international financial markets or are hesitant from seeking financial aid from Western institutions and countries, notes the IMF.
The report maps out that China’s ever-growing foreign economic activities have stimulated “vigorous debate” about whether the money has hada net benefit for recipient countries, whether China was exploiting the countries to which it was giving aid or loans,and whether that money was propping up corrupt regimes, enriching venal officials, and creating a debt burden that would come to haunt those countries.
The IMF continues to say that studies have shown that high levels of Chinese aid have had a “harmful effect on human rights and on economic development across Africa.”
“Such commercial and charitable endeavors often have not been viewed favorably by the international community and, sometimes, even by the recipient countries themselves,” said the report.
Chinese labor and materials used in the implementation of the country’s projects in Africa has generated unemployment and hindered the benefits of industrial development in the continent, according to the organization.
The report also makes mention of other studies, which have argued that aid from China is, in fact, oriented toward poorer, yet resource-rich, countries.
Chinese investors are also seemingly more willing than Western countries to invest in countries that are politically unstable.
“Chinese money has in some ways played a positive role in Africa’s economic development, but with significant risks and costs to some sectors,” the report concludes.