China to cancel ‘zero-interest’ loans given to African countries

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping has said that his government will cancel the debt of some African countries that are due by the end of 2020.

President Xi Jinping (Getty)

Speaking at the China-Africa summit, President Xi Jinping said his government will especially cancel loans with zero-interest rate due at the end of the year.

President Xi Jinping said that “China will cancel the debt of relevant African countries in the form of interest-free government loans that are due to mature by the end of 2020.”

“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,” he explained further.

China further called on the West to also consider cancelling debt for African countries.

The President said, “China hopes that the international community, especially developed countries and multilateral financial institutions, will act more forcefully on debt relief and suspension for Africa.”

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.”

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.”

Speaking on issues of COVID-19, he said African countries will be among the first to benefit from a Chinese-made vaccine. The president added that China will continue building hospitals across Africa.

It will also construct the headquarters of Africa Centre for Disease Control in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

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