The Democratic Republic of Congo
China’s debts in Africa are mostly located in resource-rich countries, and this is the case with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country has an estimated debt of $3.4 billion owed to China. The Democratic Republic of Congo agreed to exchange mineral resources for loans with China. The African country is blessed with an abundance of natural resources including diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, timber, and oil.
Ghana has an estimated debt of $3.5 billion that it owes to China. The West African country has been one of the fastest-growing economies globally, growing at between 6 and 8 percent in recent years. In November 2019, China announced that it will finance $2 billion worth of rail, road and bridge networks in Ghana, and in exchange, China will be granted access 5 percent of Ghana’s reserves of bauxite — a crucial source of aluminum, CNBC reports.
In foreign policy, Ghana and Nigeria’s relations with China, from a debt point of view looks moderate in comparison to others, as Ghana stands at 9 out of top10 African countries bearing largest Chinese debts,with an estimated debt of $3.5b, as Nigeria’s debt to China hits $4.8b.
— Mr. Slim (@ebenezer_slim) November 19, 2018
The most recent summary of Nigeria’s external debt stock published by the Debt Management Office shows that at the end of March 2019, Nigeria owed China about $2.6 billion. In fact, of Nigeria’s total debt of $81 billion, Nigeria owes more money to China than any other country it is indebted to, according to Bloomberg.
Cameroon’s total debt owed to China stands at almost $5.7 billion according to figures from the Autonomous Sinking Fund, the public entity that manages Cameroon’s external debt. Around $78 million of that amount was written off in 2019 — money that should have been paid in 2018 but which Cameroon failed to pay.
Fake news or honest mistake? WSJ cites off-mark figure in China-Cameroon debt. Prof. He Wenping: WSJ journalist could have made an honest mistake in the currency conversion, but regardless, could have led to people’s misdjugement on China’s debts with Africa @thepointwithlx pic.twitter.com/ToyqyslLII
— CGTN The Point with LIU Xin (@thepoint_CGTN) January 30, 2019
China has provided billions of dollars of loans for infrastructure projects in African countries as part of its Belt and Road initiative in recent years, with Zambia one of its most prominent debtors. Zambia’s external debt, estimated to be 35 percent of its GDP, reached nearly $10bn in 2018, up from $1.9bn in 2011. Around $6 billion of that is estimated to be Chinese debt. Africa’s second-largest producer of copper, Zambia could lose state-owned assets such as power-producer Zesco to the Chinese if it defaults on its loans, The Guardian reports.
The Chinese government has financed efforts to extract Sudanese oil and also contributed to major developmental projects in the country. In 2018, Sudan’s total debt to China was estimated at $10 billion, accounting for about one-fifth of Sudan’s estimated $53 billion foreign debt, according to TheEastAfrican.
— Nuba Reports (@NubaReports) August 27, 2017
In May 2019, China agreed to restructure the debt owed by the Republic of Congo as an International Monetary Fund’s precondition to assisting with funding. Congo’s external debt to China is estimated at $2.73 billion, according to a report by the French Embassy in Congo.
Kenya owes China an estimated $7.9 billion in debt — having funded infrastructure projects across the East African country. China is reportedly guilty of aggressive loans with terms that favor the Chinese government unfairly. For example, a leaked copy of the contract between Kenya and China for the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge railway mega-project shows that the country could lose the Mombasa port to the Chinese government if the National Railway Corporation defaults on the payment of $ 2.27 billion, according to Cadtm.
Beijing also accounts for nearly half of Ethiopia’s external debt and has lent at least $13.7 billion to Ethiopia between 2000 and 2018, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Chinese funds have contributed to a $3.4 billion railway project connecting Ethiopia to Djibouti, and the construction of Ethiopia’s first six-lane highway, the metro system, and a number of skyscrapers in Addis Ababa, Politico reports.
Angola’s debt owed to China currently stands at $22.8 billion, with recent direct investments including an assembly plant for fishing vessels, an aluminum factory, and a brewery, according to Bloomberg. Despite Angola being the second-largest producer of oil in Africa, most of its precious natural resource is going towards the repayment of Chinese debts.
Angola is so indebted that at the last estimate, every Angolan owes $754 to China.
Angola’s debt to China is more than 7 times what’s owed to the next creditor, Israel—in this case each Angolan owes Israel $106
Remember, Angola is Africa’s 2nd biggest oil producer. (Expansão) pic.twitter.com/lDNzhaCtHC
— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) June 8, 2018