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China, Climate Change and COVID-19 Will Force Africa to Re-Think Its Development Strategy

Builders work on the Third Mainland Bridge closed for six months for maintenance work in Lagos, on July 28, 2020. PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

This week, different groups of experts weighed in on how China will handle its many distressed loans to Africa. They seem to agree that the process of renegotiating this debt will be long and messy, and that Chinese actors probably won’t seize assets, but will rather kick the can down the road through rescheduling repayments. 

The larger reality is that African countries will probably have a lot less access to financing in the 2020s that they did during the last decade. This isn’t only because very few African countries are in a state where they can take on, or even be eligible for, more financing, but also because Chinese financing to Africa had been declining, even before COVID struck. 

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