Malawi President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has asked the Government of China to help Africa free itself from economic shackles by replacing debt relief with investment.
Chakwera made the remarks on Thursday during his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Third China – Africa Economic and Trade Expo in Changsha, Peoples Republic of China.
He described the trade expo as a defining moment for the global economy stressing that China and Africa are partners in common pursuit of prosperity.
Chakwera noted that Africans have gathered in China with dignity as traders seeking their rightful place in the global economic partnerships that already exists and not as beggars.
To this end, the Malawi leader said Africa must reconcile with the fact that no country is coming to Africa’s rescue and that the continent must grow Africa by making its own goods adding that Africa must be courageous enough to take charge of all aspects of its economy.
Chakwera emphasized that it is now time for Africa to reject and indeed dispense with the formulae that were designed to impede and limit progress.
Chakwera then asserted that Africa needs to stop talking about lessons of growth from China given that the continent has spent over 60 years doing just that, insisting that China must no longer be a “subject to study” but rather example to emulate.
He said Africa must curtail its appetite to borrow for consumption, which results in a chronic “migraine of debt distress.”
“The only way I see for the debt shackles to be loosed is for true friends of Africa like China to forgive or restructure the debt of African countries in distress and to henceforth refuse to lend such countries any money meant for consumption. What African needs from China are not debts from China, but investments in productivity that yields win-win results for both China and Africa,” he concluded.