In an interview with Lusa, the director of the Center for Studies and Scientific Research (CEIC) at the Catholic University of Angola (UCAN) said that "China bothers a lot of people", warning that the world is changing, turning east and the South.
Between 2000 and 2022, Angola contracted 258 loans with China, totaling 45 billion dollars, which represents more than a quarter (26.5 percent) of the total lent to Africa in this period, according to data compiled by the Policy Center of Global Development at Boston University, and consulted by Lusa.
Alves da Rocha said that China began by being attacked in Angola for the quality of infrastructure, with attention now being diverted to the issue of public debt, which "has been amortized".
He recalled that there was a Chinese moratorium during the pandemic that was followed by other countries and international institutions and that, "naturally, Angola would have to restart its payments" to its creditors, which will weigh on its finances.
"The problem that arises here is more in the real economy", he highlighted, since, with the exception of oil, Angola does not have a productive and exporting sector that allows it to have currency and pay off its debts.
"I don't believe that, in the next ten years, Angola can have an export capacity other than oil", except, he suggested, the energy sector.
"Therefore, the issue of debt repayment to China is normal, there was a moratorium, debt service was resumed, but the point we have to see is what alternatives we should have created so that the resumption of payments would not have had so much interference in the General State Budget as it has been", pointed out the investigator.
And he highlighted that, despite the importance of China for Angola having decreased after João Lourenço was elected President, moving closer to the United States, this is the financing alternative that best suits the country.
"The Chinese model of economic development is much more suitable for Angola and Africa than the European or American model", allowing more direct access to financing, stressed Alves da Rocha, considering that "there is a failure" in the European cooperation model -Africa, which has always benefited Europe.
"And these chain reactions that have been seen out there, especially in Francophone countries, with coups d'état, as we have seen, all result from this model failing", insisted the academic, highlighting "the vicious circle of expatriation and of technicians coming mainly from Europe" to Angola.
On the other hand, "a de-Westernization of economic development has been taking place for some years now, that is a fact. The centers of growth in the world economy, technological and scientific development are leaving the United States, the West, and are emigrating to the East", he said, highlighting India and China.
"We, Africans, we, in Angola, have to follow this change in the orientation of the compass rose. It will no longer be oriented to the North and will be oriented to the east and south and we have to understand these signs", warned the head of the CEIC.
Alves da Rocha highlighted the war in Europe, the creation of the BRIC+6 (bloc currently composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which will be expanded to six more countries), to which Venezuela asked to leave the world "completely inside out", highlighting concerns about oil reserves that lead Europe and the United States to turn to the energy transition.
The economist also highlighted that cooperation with Europe in the area of infrastructure never worked, recalling that when the civil war ended in 2002, then President José Eduardo dos Santos appealed to the international community to hold a donor conference to help the reconstruction of Angola, faced with "an outright refusal from Western countries".
"It was China who arrived here with 2 billion dollars to help the recovery of Angola's infrastructures", noted the expert, reinforcing: "the Chinese model gives us encouragement and hope to solve some problems that until now we have not been able to solve".