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In November 2021, arising from the impact of the COVID-19 on global economies, multiple
alluded to the fact that the government of Uganda was set to forfeit its only international airport to China due to the alleged failure to pay back a loan of about $207 million from the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank), which the country obtained in 2015 to finance the expansion and facelift of the Entebbe International Airport. Although, the Chinese and local authorities swiftly denied the reports, the clandestine nature and conditions of Chinese loans were accentuated at the time and they remain a source of concern for experts.
The Chinese government today is the largest creditor for infrastructure projects in Africa. Chatam House, in December last year,
that Chinese lenders currently contribute to 12% of Africa’s private and public external debt, “which increased more than fivefold to $696 billion from 2000 to 2020.” Across the continent, there is a wave of repayment crises, with some countries asking for renegotiations of terms and deferment of interest payments as a result of the global economic meltdown and growth contraction occasioned by the Russia/Ukrainian war. This is also attributed to the slow recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The devaluation of local currencies against the US dollar and other legal tenders, which were used to obtain the loans, has also exacerbated the crises.
years-long series of digital intrusions against key ministries and state institutions” in Kenya by the Chinese government. The report noted that further “compromises may occur as the requirement for understanding upcoming repayment strategies becomes needed,” which is expected, owing to the straining revenue crisis in the country.
China accounts for 66% of debt-service payments by Nigeria, and the total bilateral debt owed China, according the Debt Management Office, as of 30th June, 2022, was about $3.9 billion. This was as the nation reportedly spent
of its revenue on debt servicing same year. It was also projected, during the presentation of the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), that the government will spend N6.31 trillion on debt servicing in 2023, accounting for about 74.6% of the nation’s projected revenue of N8.46 trillion.
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