Zambia lauds China for freeing Africa from debt


China - Africa co-operation summit in Beijing

from ARNOLD MULENGA in Lusaka, Zambia
Zambia Bureau
LUSAKA, (CAJ News) – THE Zambia-China Friendship Association (ZCFA) has welcomed China’s decision to waive debt owed by some African countries.

This commendation comes after the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, this week announced a minor debt relief package for 17 African countries, writing off 23 interest-free loans that came due at the end of last year.

ZCFA further hailed China’s announcement that it would redirect US$10 billion of its International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserves to countries on the continent.

“For debt-stressed countries like Zambia, this news could not have come at a better time,” said Dr Fredrick Mutesa, the Secretary General of the ZCFA.

He welcomed that China had 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).

The forum was held in Senegal in late 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,” Mutesa said.

He commended Hichilema’s government for reaffirming Zambia’s long-held policy of supporting the one- China principle.

“It is our hope that our two countries will continue to cooperate with each other on the basis of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and partnering in development projects that bring tangible benefits to our peoples,” Mutesa said.

At the height of the COVID-19 in 2020, Zambia defaulted a $42,5 million eurobond repayment, becoming the first African nation to renege on its debt.

China is Africa’s largest bilateral lender.

– CAJ News



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