• China pledges to forgive 23 matured interest-free loans for 17 African countries.
• China further announces that it will redirect US$10 billion of its IMF reserves to countries on continent.
• Zambia should cease this opportunity with both hands.
Zambia-China Friendship Association (ZCFA) says China’s pledge to cancel 23 matured interest-free loans for 17 African countries which were due in 2021, demonstrates that it is a reliable friend and partner of Africa.
Association Secretary General Dr. Fredrick Mutesa also said it is gratifying to note that China has further announced that it will redirect US$10 billion of its International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserves to countries on the continent.
Dr. Mutesa stated that the development could not have come at a better time than now for debt-stressed countries like Zambia.
He is confident that Government with its lofty aspiration to grow the Zambian economy through expanded investment and trade, will cease this opportunity with both hands.
“For debt-stressed countries like Zambia, this news could not have come at a better time. China has further increased the number of imports to receive preferential treatment from Africa as a way of fulfilling one of the pledges made to its African partners at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China- Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Senegal in November-December 2021.”
“We are confident that the New Dawn administration of President Hakainde Hichilema, with its lofty aspiration to grow the Zambian economy through expanded investment and trade, will cease this opportunity with both hands,” Dr. Mutesa noted.
He added that China has reiterated that it has no aim of luring African countries into a debt trap.
“No doubt this allegation is a figment of the imaginations of the detractors of the cordial and brotherly relationship between China and Africa,” he stated.
He said Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Du Xiaohui, made it clear at a recent one day meeting organized by the International Relations Association of Zambia (IRAZ) that the Chinese way of doing business is not to embarrass its friends by discussing issues of debt in public.
Dr. Mutesa advised Zambia to continue working closely with China to resolve its debt problems, adding that the association looks forward to seeing a flourishing of the all weather friendship between Zambia and China during the tenure of President Hakainde Hichilema for the mutual benefit of both Chinese and Zambian People.
China has pledged to forgive 23 matured interest-free loans for 17 African countries.
Although the 17 countries were not named, checks by Business Insider Africa show that Djibouti, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa are among African countries with high debt exposures to China.