Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury of Kenya, speaks during an interview in Nairobi, Kenya, March 28, 2018. Henry Rotich has urged Western countries criticizing Chinese loans to Africa to try to understand the Africa-China relationship first, calling such criticism as “unwarranted”. (Xinhua/Lyu Shuai)
NAIROBI, March 29 (Xinhua) — A senior Kenyan government official has urged Western countries criticizing Chinese loans to Africa to try to understand the Africa-China relationship first, calling such criticism as “unwarranted”.
Chinese loans and development support has transformed Africa’s development and Africa-China relations are expected to get even stronger with time, Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for The National Treasury, told Xinhua on Wednesday in an interview in Nairobi.
“Attacks on Chinese loans to Africa are unwarranted,” Rotich told Xinhua. “Those criticizing do not understand the relationship we have with China.”
He said Africa’s cooperation with China is “well structured” under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which defines the direction of the relationship and development milestones that each country wants to reach with China.
“People need time to understand the relationship. China is walking with Africa to help the continent to get to the level of the developed countries faster. This is a partnership,” he said.
“The days of conditioning support are over,” said Rotich, in reference to the Western-controlled World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s demands for Africans to undertake some economic reforms and policies before they could receive development loans.
“The way to go is mutual cooperation,” Rotich said.
Kenya adopted China as its preferred development partner in 2002 when Kenya was under the leadership of retired President Mwai Kibaki.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has continued with a strong China-Kenya policy which has resulted in support for construction of the 500 kilometer Standard Gauge Railway from coastal city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi and constructions of several hundreds of kilometers of roads, the Treasury official said.