As China rises so does its expansionist activities. Recently a Chinese construction company built a modern train station in the African state of Kenya. The project began in 2017 and is now complete. Besides the Chinese building it, the Chinese were the ones that financed the project and are the operators of the station for years to come. However, this comes as no surprise as China in the past few years has been the principal financier to governments in Africa for projects. However, many scholars and policy analyzers have notified that these Chinese infrastructure loans are full of traps, which could leave African states in the dust. Likewise, just to demonstrate the relevance of the issue Kenya alone owes China roughly 5.3 billion dollars, and the railway loan totaled an astounding 3.2 billion dollars.
Since 2005 China has been intervening in the development of Africa especially in the areas of transportation, energy, real estate and metals sectors. Likewise, its very clear that the Chinese assisted in the construction of the train station due to the noticeable image of the Kenyan flag flanked by the Chinese flag on every entrance to every single rail car. Likewise, since its completion hundreds of thousands have made the trip “Mombasa, a strategically important port on the Indian Ocean” (NPR). One such group of passengers were having a fruitful discussion on the situation of having the Chinese construct the station for Kenya. The two individuals were Paul Gichango, a marketing executive and Faith Kidullah, a lawyer each had their position on the whole ordeal. Gichango felt that Kenya could learn something from the Chinese “their hard work culture”, however Kidullah felt that the only purpose Kenya brought in the Chinese was for their technology. This however is not a stand-alone event within Kenya in regard to the Chinese being in Africa and building a tool to be used by the Kenyan people. Likewise, many Kenyans have also spoke about how expensive the railway project was and how Kenya may actually be incapable to pay for the loan and Chinese labor for the railway. This however, is a relevant discussion due to the fact that “The amount of Chinese loans to Kenya has grown nearly tenfold in the five years since China unveiled its Belt and Road Initiative” (NPR).
Therefore, due to this project and many other projects within Africa that are constructed and financed by China, many have voiced their concern especially that of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who principally specified that approximately 40 percent of Africa are either in or close to being debt-distressed due to China spitting out millions of dollars in loans to them for projects. Moreover, the loans are unlike most loans in that the terms of the actual loan are undisclosed. Additionally, these loans are not conditional on the passage of the feasibility studies or environmental studies, which is a major condition for other international loans from other countries. Yet, many of the domestic leaders within Africa are not concern over the issue, but the African government’s constituents are concerned over the financial burden the country is in.