President Akufo-Addo says borrowing money to boost development is not a betrayal of the concept of independence provided the loans are used to create assets that repay debts
The President was responding to a query from a participant at an entrepreneurship forum in Nigeria about the practicality and apparent betrayal of the concept of Africa beyond aid in light of a $60 billion loan by the Chinese government to the to the continent.
Watch a video of the President's address below;
The package includes $20 billion of credit lines; $15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans; $10 billion for a special fund; and $5 billion to support imports from Africa.
“Borrowing money is not aid. What President Xi Jinping offered is a $60 billion fund which African countries can access, not as aid but as loans. If you can produce a project that the Chinese think is worth supporting, you can have access to that money, but you have to pay it back,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“We will borrow money; everybody borrows money. The United States of America is one of the biggest debtors in the world. So borrowing money is not necessarily a betrayal of the concept of independence. The key for us in borrowing money is that we borrow money to create assets that will allow us to pay the money back. That is the key… Not to borrow the money and get involved with inflated contracts, misapplied, not properly thought out contracts and burden ourselves so that one day we can't pay back," he added.
Akufo-Addo stressed that there was no contradiction in supporting the Chinese loan and advocating Africa beyond aid.
Akufo-Addo was addressing an entrepreneurship forum in Nigeria on Thursday (October 25, 2018) organised by the Tony Elumelo Foundation.
In attendance were some 5,000 young African entrepreneurs who are being funded, trained and mentored by the Tony Elumelu Foundation.