Dr. Manu Lekunze, a teaching fellow at our School, was interviewed on Aljazeera’s ‘News Hour’ at 11.35 am on the 12th of May 2020. He discussed the cancellation of African debt to China due to the economic impact of Covid-19.
During his televised interview Manu explained the difficulties China faces in cancelling Africa’s debt. He also mentioned that China wants to make money through providing finance in Africa and use debt as a foreign policy tool. Manu also argued that simultaneously China wants to appear to help the African continent - especially in its time of need.
Manu further explained that if China were to cancel Africa’s debt it could give the impression that China would cancel more debt in the future. In addition, China could also lose money (commercial loans) and relinquish the influence that the Asian country has over Africa. Ultimately, it appears that China is choosing the option to provide aid to Africa, instead of debt cancellation.