China May Agree to Delay, Not Forgive, $150 Billion Africa Debt

China, Africa’s largest bilateral creditor, is likely to agree to delay but not forgive its $152 billion of loans, an approach at odds with prior forbearance plans from groups including the Paris Club, according to a top Johns Hopkins University researcher, Bloomberg News reported. “The Chinese have always done their lending on the idea that individual projects contribute to structural transformation and economic development,” said Deborah Brautigam, who heads the China Africa Research Initiative at JHU’s School of Advanced International Studies. The thinking is, “those projects might be good projects and viable projects to get countries to a new stage where they might be in a position to repay the loans,” she said. Brautigam’s figures include loans made between 2000 and 2018. While many have been repaid on schedule, it shows just how much China’s lending has grown in Africa amid a push for political and economic clout through an overseas infrastructure investment plan begun by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Read more