Over the past few years, there has been a heated debate concerning the Chinese invasion in Africa and this was fueled by the massive numbers that flock into the continent, establishing of their businesses and the huge loans offered to the African countries by their government.
In other instances, the Chinese have also been given the privilege to occupy top leadership positions in parts of Africa which sparks mixed reactions and raises concern.
In a recent incident that has triggered an online uproar, a Chinese man has officially been crowned as a development chief (Nkosuohene) of Kwahu-Abetifi, a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
The man identified as Sun Qiang was given this title in a grand durbar which was held at the Kwawu-Abetifi Palace on Saturday.
According to the Ghanaian traditions, the title Nkosuohene is often given to non-royals, who could be politicians or tourists engaged in development.
Following this move, questions have been raised on whether the Kwahu-Abetifi residents gave their approval as some reports reveal that they are not intrigued by the development.
In line with the Ghanaian customs, Sun Qiang, after the ceremony to officiate his earned title was given a traditional stool name — Barima Kofi Ayeboafo. The name Ayeboafo in Ghana literally means “one who has done something to benefit others”.
Some of the photos that are making rounds on social media capture a moment where Sun Qian being is carried shoulder-high by some young men of Abetifi.
According to George M. Bob-Milliar in the academic paper, the Nkosuohene title was created in 1985 by the late Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, “as a catalyst for development in Kumase [capital of Ghana’s Ashanti Region] and beyond,”
A section of the academic paper also cites that since the 1990s, hundreds of African Americans and some white Westerners have been honored with various royal titles.
Sun Qiang is therefore not the first foreigner to be given such a title however, the fact that he is a Chinese man is what has ignited mixed feelings as some claim that the Chinese are slowly taking over the African continent.
Despite the backlash faced by China, they have continually branded themselves as a friend of Africa and takes the credit for some of the expensive projects that they have heavily invested in Africa.
In the past years, China has given handsome offers to African governments, and some question whether this is genuine or the first world country intends to overburden African countries with loans to pave way for neo-colonialism.
In Africa, China has since built a $200 million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2012 at no cost, offered $6 million to Ethiopia to launch its first satellite into space in September 2019, and has done much more for other African countries.
In Kenya, China has made huge investments including the new railway linking Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, to the coast.
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