How will China respond to the African debt crisis?
Aslak Orre (CMI) and Arve Ofstad (former Ambassador) in conversation with Lovise Aalen (CMI).
China has emerged as a major provider of loans to many African countries – and now rivals the World Bank as a lender to the continent. Many African countries are in now in a debt crisis – accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
How does China respond to this crisis? Are the Chinese banks cancelling or renegotiating the loans? And is China now becoming more reluctant in providing loans to Africa? Do China cooperate with other lenders in providing debt relief? How does the Chinese response compare to the response from the traditional lenders?
The seminar will discuss this based on examples from especially Angola, Mozambique and Zambia.
Aslak Orre is a senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen whose competence areas include local government reform, corruption and opposition in Africa. Current research interests include the political economy of oil in Africa, the role of China in Africa including media, public space and press freedom. He has also researched Chinese finance and the debt issue.
Arve Ofstad is a former senior researcher and deputy director at CMI. He has published on Zambia's debt and China's role. Ofstad has also worked as the Norwegian ambassador in Zambia and is a member of the management board of the African Legal Support Facility. This unit hosted by the African Development Bank provides legal advice and technical assistance to African countries to strengthen their legal expertise and negotiation capacity in i. a. debt management.
Lovise Aalen is a senior researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen. She has researched African politics for the last two decades (including several long term fieldworks), and has developed an extensive knowledge of the social, economic and political conditions of the wider Horn of Africa region in particular.
The seminars are free and open to all. It is possible to attend both physically and digitally.
Please note, that according to the COVID-19 regulations all participants must keep a distance of at least one metre from each other and maintain good hand hygiene. We also need to have an overview of who is present at all times, so for those who attend physically, we will register their names and phone numbers and keep it for 10 days. You can sign up for the event via this link.