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South Africa President Reflects on Russia Summit and Defends Chinese Lending Practices

In his regular email newsletter, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reflected on last week's inaugural Russia-Africa Summit and the changing geopolitical dynamics in Africa. Key Highlights from President Ramaphosa's Newsletter: "What we are ...

European State Media Pose Tough Questions About Railway Financing in Kenya While Overlooking One Very Important Point

It's so interesting to see EU/US coverage of the SGR debt issue in Kenya when their state-run media channels constantly point out this new rail line is unprofitable. Sure, but consider that in 2018 Germany spent $13.3 billion to subsidize its rail operations.

Three East African Countries to Introduce New Tolls to Pay Back China for Road Building Loans

Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have all announced plans to begin charging toll roads on certain expressways built with Chinese financing. The proposed fees, according to UK-based infrastructure industry publication ITS, is apparently intended to generate the necessary funds to repay Chinese lenders.

Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway and the Dramas of Development

This week saw the launch of the newest phase of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR,) connecting the port in Mombasa to the Rift Valley town of Naivasha. The Mombasa-Naivasha section of the SGR cost $1.5 billion. It connects to the initial phase, between Nairobi and Mombasa, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...
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