- Title: African lender says China not trying to lead region into 'debt trap'
- Date: 30th August 2019
- Summary: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (AUGUST 30, 2019) (REUTERS) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT AKINWUMI ADESINA SITTING DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT, AKINWUMI ADESINA, SAYING: "But when you look at what it is, I don't think there is a deliberate plan by China to indebt any country at all. I think China is fulfilling a very important role, which is in terms of infrastructure support." ADESINA SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT, AKINWUMI ADESINA, SAYING: "For us, where infrastructure is still a challenge in terms of financing infrastructure the continent still has a challenge. The issue of quality infrastructure is very important and that is at the heart of our engagement with the government of Japan." ADESINA SITTING (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT, AKINWUMI ADESINA, SAYING: "I don't see a competition at all, I see complementarily. Africa has a tremendous amount of needs. Africa has, is a friend of China, Africa is a friend of Japan." TICAD BADGE ON ADESINA'S SUIT JACKET (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT, AKINWUMI ADESINA, SAYING: "The interest and engagement of China in Africa is welcome. And in terms, African countries in terms of meeting their infrastructure needs. Will I say there were no mistakes made in the beginning? No, I wouldn't say so. There are issues of sensitivity to local communities, there are issues of making sure you don't displace people in the labour market, but these are things, a learning experience, a learning curve for China as it engages in Africa." ADESINA SPEAKING
- Embargoed: 13th September 2019 06:57
- Keywords: African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina TICAD interview
- Location: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- City: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AUERBD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: China is not trying to lead African countries into a debt trap and provides critical investment along with other countries to close a funding gap for crucial infrastructure projects on the continent, the head of the regional lender said on Friday (August 30).
Debt sustainability was a key issue at this week's meeting hosted by Tokyo with African leaders and international lenders on development of the continent, with eyes on China's aggressive lending that some critics say has saddled poorer African countries with mountains of debt.
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina brushed aside such criticism, and urged Japan and China to not compete but play "complementary roles" in filling a massive funding gap for African infrastructure.
Japan nonetheless views its regional rival as a competitor for influence around the world, including in Africa and worries that a flood of Chinese money will weaken its diplomatic standing.
Africa today has a financing gap of $68 billion to $108 billion a year for power, ports, rail, and airports, he added.
(Production: Chris Gallagher, Masashi Kato, Akiko Okamoto, Kwiyeon Ha)
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