China is promising to write off some loans to Africa. The East Asian country has revealed its intentions to cancel certain loans it gave to some African countries which are due for repayment this year.
Particularly loans with zero-interest rate.
President Xi Jinping in speech at the China-Africa summit said that “China will exempt the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020.”
He added that “For those African countries that are hardest hit by the coronavirus and are under heavy financial stress, China will work with the global community to give them greater support, by such means as further extending the period of debt suspension, to help them tide over the current difficulty.”
China is also urging the West to also consider debt cancellation for Africa just as it intends doing.
“China hopes that the international community, especially developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, will act more forcefully on debt relief and suspension for Africa,” Presdient Jinping sand.
The Chinese leader also noted that “to help Africa achieve sustainable development is what matters in the long run.
China supports Africa in its effort to develop the African Continental Free Trade Area and to enhance connectivity and strengthen industrial and supply chains.”
President Jinping also revealed that “China will explore broader cooperation with Africa in such new business forms as digital economy, smart city, clean energy, and 5G to boost Africa’s development and revitalization.”
China has become one of Africa’s largest creditors in recent years, lending hundreds of billions of dollars to governments to build roads, railways and ports. Now it’s promising to write off a small part of that debt as countries on the continent battle the Covid-19 pandemic.