The Chinese model is failing Africa

Leaders from across Africa will gather in Beijing next week for the Forum on China Africa Co-operation. This triennial summit is where China makes the headline-grabbing aid and finance commitments that underpin its role as Africa’s most important economic partner, fostering new political and military co-operation in a region often ignored by western governments.

Nearly a decade ago, China surpassed the US to become Africa’s largest trading partner. Last year, its two-way trade hit $170bn — four times larger than US-Africa commerce.

But after more than a decade of vaulting growth in trade, finance and investment, China’s weighty engagement is jeopardising future development prospects in Africa.

The continent holds a special place in the story of China’s modern rise. Before…

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