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We Need to Talk About Africa’s Whole Debt Problem – Not Just the Chinese Part

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed a group of African foreign ministers during a virtual FOCAC 8 follow-up session on August 18, 2022. Image via the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This week I participated in a seminar hosted by the South African Institute for International Affairs comparing the on-the-ground experiences of Chinese-led infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia and Africa (watch the event here).

Researchers from opposite ends of the globe revealed strikingly similar successes and problems in the interactions between Chinese contractors and local stakeholders, from the difficulties facing relocated communities to both local politicians and Chinese contractors padding contracts. 

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