How China became a big player in Samoa
Re: Samoa’s debt
The traditional sources of loans and aids were actually the main problem with their inability to trust the Samoan government to manage the granted funds.
Their prejudices of proper management of funds encompass the terms and conditions of loans, and prominent to that is their very own best judgment that the funds should be solely directed to development projects and anywhere else deemed to benefit communities, other than facilities and infrastructure development.
The Government’s get back against traditional sources of loans led to the readily acceptance of China’s proffered handshake to finance this need in facility infrastructures, that UK, Australia, NZ and US refused to accommodate.
Hence, we’ve seen the various Government administrative offices being built, sports stadiums, ports of entry, etc, while Japan funneled aids via JOCV to help with the national immunization programs and upgrading of health facilities, it was seen as far from sufficient.
The government even voiced their get back to the traditional sources of loans and aids that their hand was forced to accommodate China’s offer.
His biggest mistake was getting himself overwhelmed with the ease in securing these foreign loans from China out of some legacy fantasy on his part, and failing to visualize that they were all at the expense of the Samoan people.
With this indebtedness to China, it has become difficult to secure any more loans from ADB unless the government regulated customary lands into individual ownership with the government guarantee.
This clear legacy seemed to materialise right before the eyes of the Samoan community - Samoan families and their children to be enslaved by foreign powers.