Most African leaders lauded China’s ties with Africa during the recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that was held in South Africa. The forum saw China offer Africa a $60 billion package, a medley of loans that were interest free, concession or lines of credit, debt relief and skills training among other deals. The remarks by Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopia’s prime minister that 'China has the Chinese dream that the Communist Party of China is promoting' and 'Ethiopia has its Ethiopian Renaissance’ that she is promoting are loaded.
Africa is living the dreams of other civilizations. In the absence of a well-crafted centre of gravity – a set of African ideas and values – the continent is being tossed left and right in the sea of geopolitical interests. Having interacted with various global players, seen what has worked or failed to work for them, Africans have a unique opportunity to craft their own growth trajectory. The dilemma is in the fact that Africans have not mastered the art of converting relationships with global partners into channels to meet the continent’s core interests as the Europeans, Indians, Japanese and Chinese did. Africa should build on such gains to evolve a system that will front the continents core interests and manage the fluid geopolitical landscape.