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Q&A: Are We Heading for a China-Zambia Break-Up Over Debt? Probably Not.

For the second time in less than a month, there's been an alarming media report about China and Zambia reaching some kind of inflection point over the issue of debt. This weekend, the South China Morning Post newspaper in Hong Kong published a story with a provocative ...

Chinese Loans in Africa: Debt or Latent Aid?

China’s lending to developing countries often comes as part of massive financial packages for mega-projects. Debt sustainability comes into question for both parties involved. Some critics warn of debt traps where China is jockeying for political influence and ownership, while other ...

The Legend of Hambantota and China’s “Debt Trap” Diplomacy

China's critics, largely in the U.S., often hold up the Sri Lankan port in Hambantota as the cautionary tale of what purportedly can happen when a developing country fails to pay back its loans to Beijing. Because Sri Lanka fell behind ...

China Says it Believes in Debt Sustainability, Just Not the Way Everyone Else Does

Countries around the world, particularly in Africa, are taking huge amounts of Chinese debt to build badly-needed infrastructure but often without a plan on how to re-pay those loans. That’s given way for critics in the US, Europe, and Japan to ...

Daily Nation’s Aggrey Mutambo on the Current State of China-Kenya Relations

The China-Kenya relationship is at a sort of inflection point right now where there is a palpable sense that the relationship has to change or else it risks deteriorating. The ballooning debt, yawning trade imbalance and the general lack of transparency ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

The Year of the Mobile Phone is Transforming China-Africa Relations

In the
history of China-Africa relations, 2019 may come to be known as the year of the
mobile phone. It was a year when phones took on an outsized commercial and
political importance. Selling its Tecno phones in Africa carried Transsion, a
relatively unknown Chinese company, to an IPO north of $4 billion. Mobile
phones dragged Africa into the fight between Huawei and the US ...

Fueled by Chinese Loans, Kenya’s National Debt Tops $57 Billion

Kenya's Treasury released new information about the country's rising debt load, announcing that it's about to reach Sh6 trillion ($57 billion.) Last week, Parliament approved a new, higher debt ceiling of Sh9 trillion ($87 billion) in part to accommodate 44 new loan requests to ...

Two Competing Views of the New Chinese-built Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway Line in Kenya

The Chinese-financed and constructed Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya is an extremely polarizing issue for many people in Kenya and throughout East Africa. Critics of President Uhuru Kenyatta see it as a financial boondoggle that will never pay for itself, leaving future generations to pick up the ...

Kenya Rushes to Get $4 Billion of Infrastructure Loans Approved for the “Big Four” Projects

The government is in a race against time to secure new loans amounting to $4.1 billion to fund President Uhuru Kenyatta's ambitious "Big Four" projects that include food security, manufacturing, affordable housing, and affordable healthcare.  Where's the Money Going to ...

Museveni is Now China’s Most Forceful Advocate in Africa

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni this week strongly defended his government's decision to take large Chinese loans, pushing back against his critics by claiming that his government really doesn't have any other choice but to turn to China: "The Chinese...are the only ...

Japan the EU Sign an Ambitious Deal to Build Infrastructure in the Developing World With an Eye on Countering China

Japan and the European Union signed a so-called "connectivity partnership" to build infrastructure and set development standards in joint projects around the world. While neither the agreement nor the leaders from either side mentioned China by name, it's widely believed that this deal is intended, in ...

World Bank: China Sinks Further Into Debt While Investors Seem to Love Buying African Sovereign Bonds

On average, the external debt burden of low and middle-income countries remains moderate. The ratio of external debt to GNI averaged 26 percent at the end of 2018, unchanged from the prior year average, and the ratio of external debt-to-export earnings improved slightly. 

AfDB President: “Africa Has Absolutely No Debt Crisis”

The Chinese are often accused of fueling a debt crisis in Africa due to excessive lending. While are certainly worrisome levels of debt in some countries, particularly Djibouti, Zambia and Kenya among others, the president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, told Bloomberg that worries ...

Kenyan Borrowing From Japan Surges as Chinese Lending Slows

New data from the National Treasury in Nairobi revealed a dramatic surge in borrowing from Japan, up 162% to more than $1.3 billion during the period of June 2018 to June 2019. The increase in Japanese loans comes as China is slowing its lending to Kenya. "China’s ...

China’s Ambassador to South Africa Hits Back Against US, EU Attacks

China's outspoken ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, pushed back against U.S. and European critics on the opening day of the Africa/China Industrial and Infrastructural Cooperation Conference at the University of Johannesburg earlier this week. Ambassador Lin is different than most ...

Amid Mounting Chinese Debts, “President Lungu is Running Out of Options.”

A bombshell report in Africa Confidential this reveals that Zambia has borrowed significantly more from Chinese companies than previously reported and now those Chinese creditors are not in much of a mood to negotiate or reschedule those debts.
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