Beyond the Rhetoric: Trump’s Africa Power Initiative – Part 3 (final)

Harry C. Alford | 1/4/2019, 1:48 p.m.
China has strong ambitions regarding the continent of Africa. It wants it as a type of “Bread Basket” to provide ...
Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow

By Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow

China has strong ambitions regarding the continent of Africa. It wants it as a type of “Bread Basket” to provide food for its 1 billion+ citizens. They are stealing the precious minerals that God has blessed our Motherland with. The aggression seems to be growing exponentially. Recently, China established a naval base and an army outpost in the eastern nation of Djibouti. These are strategically located at the mouth of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

Now the aggressive nation is seeking to step up their plan to take Africa over. Using an “easy credit rip-off scheme” they are attempting to seize the Port of Mombasa on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast. How can they do this? It is explained in the Maritime Executive magazine:

“Kenya runs the risk of losing control of the Port of Mombasa if it should default on loans from state financial institution China Exim Bank, according to a new report from Kenya’s auditor general. The terms of a $2.3 billion loan for Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) specify that the port’s assets are collateral, and they are not protected by Kenya’s sovereign immunity due to a waiver in the contract.

KRC accepted the multi-billion-dollar loan in order to build the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway (SGR) with construction services provided by China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC), a division of state-owned conglomerate China Communications Construction Company (CCCC).

The payment arrangement agreement substantively means that the Authority’s revenue would be used to pay the Government of Kenya’s debt to China Exim bank if the minimum volumes required for (rail) consignment are not met. The China Exim Bank would become a principle over KPA if KRC defaults in its obligations.

In addition, any dispute with China Exim Bank would be handled through an arbitration process in China, not in Kenyan courts. The auditor general expressed concern that the port authority had not disclosed these arrangements in its financial statements.

Kenyan concerns about the transfer of a strategic seaport to China have precedent elsewhere. In December 2017, Sri Lanka handed control of a newly-built port of Hambantota to a Chinese operator in order to satisfy part of its significant debt to Chinese lenders.”

If China gets hold of the Port of Mombasa it will certainly put a naval and army presence there which would border our naval base next door. This is indeed threatening and a certain risk to our national security as well as that of all of Africa. It is an imperialistic attempt to take over the entire African continent and we have no alternative but to start “checking” this nation. Our EXIM bank and OPIC must compete via aggressive investment throughout Africa. Through good policy and strong leadership, we can turn this trend around. President Trump is to be applauded for addressing this trend.

Recently, our Bechtel Construction Co. signed a $4 billion contract with Kenya to build a new highway between Mombasa and Nairobi. Such US contractual activity must be replicated throughout the continent. Let’s compete head on with China. If Africa becomes wise and aggressive in its infrastructure enhancement and eliminates its debilitating political corruption, it will become an economic powerhouse.