Over the last two decades, China has established a significant economic
presence in most African countries. Its lucrative economic investment package, flexible
political approach, and focused big-ticket development projects under the Belt and Road
Initiative (BRI) provide an ostensibly massive opportunity to African countries.
However, the unilateral nature of the initiative, the lack of transparency and
accountability to African countries, and the absence of projects that directly benefit
locals have raised suspicions and fuelled local resentment. There are increasing
instances of African countries cancelling or postponing BRI projects over rising debt
concerns. This brief discusses the nature of the BRI, specifically in the African continent,
and its advantages and disadvantages for the host countries.

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