By Andualem Sisay Gessesse – The United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is in Addis Ababa for official visit, today advices African countries to be cautious about their sovereignty while dealing with the Chinese investments.
He also expressed his hope that China follows international norms while dealing with African countries, which ‘badly needed’ Chinese investments.
“We are not in any way attempting to get Chinese investment out of Africa. They are badly needed. However, it is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those investments. The model Chinese follow they do not bring significant job creation locally. They don’t bring significant training programs that enable African citizens to participate more broadly in the future,” Secretary Tillerson said this morning at a press conference that followed his meeting with African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki.
“…Often times the financing model is structured in a way that when a
country gets into trouble financially, it loses control of its own
infrastructure or its own resources through default. So our message is
for countries to consider carefully what the terms of those agreements
are and not incorporate the elements of your sovereignty as you enter
into such arrangements with China,” he said.
“We welcome Chinese participation. But we hope they will follow international rules, international norms and respect the sovereignty of countries…And respect the need to develop citizens of those countries and create a future of their own for the people of those countries as well,” Tillerson said.
Reports show that in recent years Chinsese government loan to African countries has been increasing reaching between 50% to 200% of a GDP of a country.
The closed-door discussions between Secretary Tillerson and AU Chairperson Faki, includes finding sustainable means of financing for the fight against terrorists Africa, on how to support the fight against corruption and tracking of illicit financial flows from Africa.
The two sides have also discussed about advancing good governance and transparency in the continent as a central requirement for conducting good businesses and create competitive conditions. Promotion of trade and investment between the United States and Africa, food and cyber securities as well as supporting intra-Africa trade were also among the topics of their discussions.
“I believe reasonably that this partnership will bring result for both sides,” Chairperson Faki said.
Secretary Tillerson has also urged Africa countries to join the international communities’ decision of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula by putting pressure on North Korea. Secretary Tillerson who arrived Addis Ababa yesterday will continue his Africa tour visiting Djibouti, Kenya, Chad and Nigeria.