The Ambassador of Zambia to China, Mr. Ivan Zyuulu, attended the launch of a report on the Effectiveness of China’s Sovereign Financing in Africa at Peking University. With the upcoming international Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) forum, the significant contributions of the BRI to African infrastructure development were underscored.
The report launch gathered Ambassadors, senior government officials, and international development experts for panel discussions.
The statement issued by Catherine M Kashoti, Second Secretary Communications, Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in the People’s Republic of China, emphasized that China’s financing to African countries aligns with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals at the global level.
The report highlighted successful sector-specific projects funded by the Chinese government, such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Kenya, the Soubre Hydro-power plant in Cote d’Ivoire, and the Adama Wind Farm in Ethiopia. These projects have showcased the effectiveness of Chinese financing in Africa.
Ambassador Zyuulu addressed key issues in African debt management during the panel discussion. He stressed that extending repayment periods is crucial to alleviating the burden of immediate debt repayment and directing resources to socio-economic needs.
He proposed the establishment of regional or syndicated negotiation teams, comprising representatives from regional economic blocs like SADC, COMESA, and the AU, to strengthen the negotiating power of African nations and secure more favorable debt terms.
The Ambassador also highlighted the lack of ownership and local community involvement in project monitoring. To address this, he suggested increased participation from NGOs alongside governments and stakeholders in monitoring and ensuring proper project implementation.
He further emphasized that promoting and supporting regional projects can enhance debt management, making them more economically viable.
Ambassador Zyuulu further advocated for a multifaceted approach to address debt management in Africa. By tackling these key issues, African nations can use debt effectively to drive economic growth, development, and overall welfare improvements.
This story has been adopted from the UPND Zambia.