Opinion

OPINION: Why China Wins!

By Dickson Jere

By any standards, the recent visit of Prince Harry to Zambia, was high profile. Even his engagement was at high level – a meeting with the Head of State and other senior government officials. And then the communique is out – the Duke of Sussex intends to help Zambia beef up the numbers of elephants! Off course wildlife conservation is one of the passion of Prince Harry and that offer of jumbos perfectly fits his “agenda”.

However, nothing tangible came out of the trip in terms of investments except the unspecified pledges of helping Zambia with trade and investment. I know Prince Harry does not represent government of the UK per se but his visit underscores the relations between Britain and Africa and so he was expected to talk more on tangibles. That is where precisely the West is losing it in Africa. Days of rhetoric talk are long gone! Africa wants tangible engagement with tangible results

On the other hand, the Chinese utilize any high profile visit to Africa to underscore the “help” they will render to Africa in very specific terms. China speaks of tangible projects- roads, bridges, schools, hospitals – which are in need in Africa. The figures would have popped up in terms of the “concessional loans” or whatever you want to call them. Months after the visit, graders would be on site, commencing the infrastructure projects as promised without any “conditionalities” whatsoever.

In short, Africa and Zambia in particular, does not need elephants! Africa needs infrastructure projects – roads, bridges, schools and hospitals. And China has rocked herself well in that equation and hence the unbridled influence she is having on Africa! The West must wake up to the realities on modern day Africa and its needs!

By the way, I harbour strong views on how China and Africa engagement is structured especially on the so-called “concessional loans” and “counterpart funding” which have become conduit of illicit funds for the elites! But it’s topic for another day!

24 Comments

  1. Julius

    What a a good observation, I equally anticipated something tangible more than the donation of elephants to come out of the Prince’s vist

    • Sim1

      Uku temwa inpiya ,you think every visitor should bring monies.Prince agender was to visit 100yrs of world war 1. Yama I can’t visit yo home,coz you will think I have come to quench yo poverty.

      • chendabusiku

        Ofcourse why would a rich man or woman come to Africa and leave his or her purse behind? We need money to light up our “dark continent” time for just talking is long gone.

  2. Newbie

    The author of this article is clueless about how development aid from the West works. AID from England is not coming from the monarchy, it will come from DFID and private investors, so the prince speaks to what are his passions.
    Chinese development has no restrictions, and this , includes theft and corruption. Additionally, they are also only interested in investing in areas that are of their strategic interest – where they can employ their own people and reap profits untold for themselves. You are a fool if you think otherwise.
    The Chinese don’t care how much of the money you they steal, but they care when you can’t repay and start grabbing the assets you put down as collateral. They make no pretense of caring to actually develop YOU, it’s for them and their investments are not tied to outcomes that benefit you, unless the government has the leadership and responsibility to its people.

    • Simwinji

      I totally I agree that Here does not understand the role of a Prince like Harry in the British governance system. In regards to this visit, he did not come to wave a developmental magic wand to Zambia.
      The Chinese that come to Zambia come at invitation of the Zambian Government and they come for specific missions. Equally the Prince came to Zambia to offer those what you call “tangibles”. The Chinese come to Zambia at governmental level. On the contrary the Prince was representing her grandmother the Queen of England. He could not speak or offer developmental projects on behave of Mrs. May’s Government as he has no such mandate. Mr. Here together with the full compliment of Zambia’s State House, fail to arrange for a state visit to No. 10 Downing street or the Whitehouse throughout the entire Rupiah Banda’s presidency. How then can he condemn the West for not doing much. Are we not the ones who should take an initiative to engage them? I would like to re-emphasise the fact that we need the West more than they need us.

    • Dora Jaschke

      Simwinji totally agree with you

  3. Lc

    I think the author missed the point here,prince Harry offered something which is in his interest and elephants are okay for him since he knows that Zambia is a tourism hub and he offered them freely to this country compared to China who gives you loans which when you fail to pay they go away with your zesco.

  4. charlie diaspora

    it was a visit to charity sites under ER II, his grandmother, just like his father was in west Africa shortly before…good points raised, wrong banner…implicitly admitting Africa or Zambia in particular are subject to Black Friday really biles me up – jesus wept…

  5. kedrick siame

    A fool is a fool u author, u are stupid how can u cream about things that someone is given u too free but tanta imwe muli mbwa mybe u are not a good generalist and remove this rubbish article u fool.

  6. Azily

    Prince Harry said some thing that made my vains feel ful of blood and he said my mind straight to the right person, ( “invest in the young people!”).
    You would realise that he cares more about the future of Zambia in particular if you analyse his mission for a visit to this village.
    China win? Nope, they are losers who would help you with a knife to cut a chicken and they ask for a share.
    Talk about linking munchinga to China, taking small jobs from our locals, and…….

  7. PAKA GREEN

    To be honest,me i Love china. The British NEVER built good houses for Police officers. When you have diarrhea ,you have to go outside to poopu in the rains.The British are idiots.China is the best.They have built self contauned houses for both police and prison warders.PLSE KEEP IT UP AVIC AND GOVT under Ecl leadership. These others in red polical atire must go to hell. This not southern province where you are use kunyela panja.

  8. TENZE BANTHU

    The west just have the fear of unknown over China has been in Africa for so long in terms of infrastructure roads bridges ,rail mention them …the west just provide medication so that they can eliminate you by giving you poison .

  9. Gunshot

    Not a well thought out article…You clearly misunderstood his visit. Not every visit is about aid or investment;we have to learn that. In my opinion this analysis lacks substance.

  10. Thaleah

    Well thought out essay! Keep up sir!

  11. Razor

    Dickson jere how is life after leaving your cushy job as presidential spokesperson at state house. Any advise for Amos Chanda?

  12. Kas win

    England or what’so ever can not be presently compared with China,in approach in Action, coz “BritisH iz falling” ChinA iz rising.

  13. Sim1

    No sense you think, everything is money,u lazy bagger.

  14. Nelson Mena Chipaila

    We all expected more from Prince Harry’s visit to Zambia, but unfortunately beggers are not choosers so, we ought to be thankful for those elephants.

  15. Dora Jaschke

    Simwinji totally agree with you

  16. Daniel Banda

    The article is timely. Do we need 1000 elephants when in recent times people have been trampled to death by the number of elephants the country has?

  17. William Shakespeare

    +260972898553

  18. Badboy

    Pliz pipo of zambia open your eyes china pipo are building they own things, they will be using just wait and see…and what u should keep in mind is that you own them money….lets open our eyes zambians pliz

  19. Isaac Banda

    Please pf think of balancing boidervesity

  20. ba wiso

    But for real the west did nothng only to colonise and stole from africa inslaved us raped our brothers and sisters.the kkk movement in america.in zambia didnt u used to buy things on the window during bena smith na batata ba kk.westerners are giving money to people with influence in africa to fight against ant~china agenda e.g we know some leader who used to work for anglo saxon company but know he is into politics.west fear that africa now in reality wil rise and claim for its staffs that they took

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