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Beware of the Dragon: Africa must not look to China

Venue: Cadogan Hall

We all know that the Chinese are the neo-colonialists of Africa. They’ve plundered the continent of its natural resources, tossing aside any concern for human rights and doing deals with some of the world’s most unsavoury regimes. The relentless pursuit of growth is China’s only spur.

But is this picture really fair? In Angola, for example, China’s low-interest loans have been tied to a scheme that has ensured that roads, schools and other infrastructure has been built. China has an impressive track record of lifting its own millions out of poverty and can do the same for Africa. And is the West’s record in Africa as glowing as we like to think? After decades of pouring aid into Africa, how much have we actually achieved in terms of reducing poverty, corruption and war? So which way should Africa look for salvation – to the West, to China, or perhaps to its own people? Come to the debate and decide for yourself.

Part of Intelligence Squared Debate

Britain's former colonies should stop blaming the empire for their ills

The British Empire has a mixed legacy. On the plus side we brought railways, the rule of law and the English language, the world’s lingua franca, to far-flung places. But it's also true that in the...

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