China Extended Botswana’s Loan for Rail and Road Constructions

China - Botswana relations
China's Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China September 1, 2018.
(Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool)

China extended Botswana's loan limits to be used on its rail and road construction projects. Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said upon his return from China that the loans were extended and some of the country's debts were written off.

The president announced the good news at the airport during his arrival from China after the China-Africa forum held in the country. He said that in addition to the loan and debt cancellation of 80 million pula the economic giant also offered 340 million pula grant. He boasted that the country got a little more than just a loan.

The president did not disclose the exact size of the loan, however, the ministry of finance said that Botswana aims to achieve a 12 billion pula loan for rail and roads construction.

It was reported that Botswana is the world's biggest producer of diamonds in terms of value. Most of the Chinese businesses in the country are mostly state-owned on they are largely financing constructions of dams and roads.

The extension of the loans is expected to finance the Mosetse-Kazungula railway line project. The project will connect Botswana's center to the tourism attractive northwest. The new railway project planned to be constructed on the country is expected to promote regional trade since it is currently connecting Botswana to Zambia through the Kazungula Bridge.

President Xi was reported to offer Africa another $60 billion in financing on Monday. He was also reported to write off debts for economically struggling African nations while at the same time warns against using the funds for "vanity projects".

Xi stated on his opening of the forum that China's financing included $15 billion in aid, concessional loans, and loans that are interest-free, a credit line worth $20 billion, special for the China-Africa development worth$10 billion, and funds for Africa's imports worth $5 billion.

According to reports, the People's republic of China has already waived off debts of the government of Botswana including three interest fees loans amounting to a total of RMB Y52.993, 400 which is P80,404,058. A press release reported that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said that the Botswana and China signed the exemption on August 22.

It was reported on a press release by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development that that month's exemption was signed by Minister Matambo of Botswana and Ambassador Zhao Yanbo of China.

It was said that the exemptions in line with the undertaking during the China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit.

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