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As the US and France Try to Compete with China in Building African Infrastructure, Their Public-Private Financing Model is in Jeopardy

Terminal 1a at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi where a French railway project is now on the verge of collapse. Photo via the Kenya Airports Authority.

Both France and the United States have been vocal critics of China’s state-led infrastructure development model in Africa and the accompanying loans for projects extended by Beijing’s policy banks. Fearful that China is using loans to extend political influence along with the fact that some African countries are taking on too much debt, U.S. and French leaders launched high profile Public-Private-Partnership initiatives they claimed would be more economically sustainable and provide a clear alternative to African countries taking on more Chinese debt.

But now both the French and U.S. ventures to build even modest infrastructure projects in Kenya are in question and potentially on the verge of collapse.

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