Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah, a prominent lawyer and social activist in Sierra Leone, has voiced strong criticism regarding the diplomatic relationship between Sierra Leone and China.

His remarks come in the wake of recent developments where China’s president announced the cancellation of a portion of the debt owed by the Sierra Leonean government, along with financial assistance aimed at fostering development within the nation.

In a pointed statement, Marrah expressed deep concern over what he perceives as an unequal exchange between the two countries. Despite China benefiting from an estimated sum exceeding a billion dollars in resources from Sierra Leone, Marrah contends that the assistance provided by China falls significantly short of what is commensurate with the value of resources extracted.

China may have taken more than a billion dollars in resources from our motherland,” Marrah emphasized, “but only giving us back an amount sufficient only to cover transport fares and DSAs for our leaders. We should be embarrassed as a sovereign nation!”

Marrah’s critique sheds light on broader concerns regarding the terms of engagement between African nations and foreign powers, particularly China’s growing influence in the region. While China’s investments and financial assistance have contributed to infrastructural development in Sierra Leone and other African countries, critics argue that the terms often favor China’s interests over the long-term sustainability and autonomy of African nations.

The lawyer and activist’s remarks are likely to fuel ongoing debates surrounding the nature of diplomatic relations between African countries and global superpowers. As Sierra Leone continues to navigate its economic and developmental challenges, voices like Marrah’s serve as a reminder of the importance of transparency, equity, and sovereignty in international partnerships.