China agrees to extend Botswana’s loan, cancels some debt

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According to a report by Reuters, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said China has agreed to extend a loan to Botswana for rail and road infrastructure. The President also said China has agreed to write off some of Botswana’s debt.

President Masisi who was interviewed at the airport on his return from this week’s China-Africa forum in Beijing said “I am happy to report that judging from what President Xi Jinping told me, we were successful. In addition to the loan and a debt cancellation of 80 million Pula, China has also offered a 340 million Pula grant”.

Chinese companies are largely into construction in Botswana and the bulk of the loan is expected to fund the Mosetse-Kazungula railway project, which will link the central part of Botswana to the tourism hub in the northwest.

The railway line will also promote regional trade by connecting Botswana to Zambia through the Kazungula Bridge currently under construction.

It was reported that China offered $60 billion for financing in Africa and wrote off debt for some poor African nations. President Xi Jinping said the financing will include $15 billion in aid, interest free loans and concessional loans, a $20 billion credit line, a $10 billion special fund for China-Africa development and a $5billion special fund for imports from Africa.

The Chinese president however warned the country leaders to avoid funds going toward “vanity projects”.

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