It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
This question, which one hears almost everywhere, was addressed most powerfully by the Congolese lawyer I met in Lubumbashi. He received me in his office in his downtown home, where he bathes in water collected from an old parabolic satellite dish, and where he says the mail gets delivered once or twice a year, after he pays a bribe to the post office.
I asked him if the arrival of the Chinese was a new and great opportunity for the continent, as some have said. “The problem is not who is the latest buyer of our commodities,” he replied. “The problem is to determine what is Africa’s place in the future of the global economy, and up to now, we have seen very little that is new. China is taking the place of the West: they take our raw materials and they sell finished goods to the world What Africans are getting in exchange, whether it is roads or schools or finished goods, doesn’t really matter. We remain under the same old schema: our cobalt goes off to China in the form of dusty ore and returns here in the form of expensive batteries.”
To succeed, Germany’s Mittelafrika would have required cooperation from Belgium and Portugal in order for its trains to traverse the expanse of Congo and Angola on their way to the Indian Ocean. In five short years, China has solved this problem, rebuilding Angola’s Benguela railroad and laying the groundwork for a vast new rail-and-road network to be built in Congo, Zambia, and other peripheral countries. China will not turn these railways over to African governments, as it did with the Tazara. Rather, it will retain majority control of its rail investments, operating the railways until its money is recouped by ticket and cargo revenues and by other fees.(same source as above)