China waives Zambia's loan

Geza Ulole

JF-Expert Member
Oct 31, 2009

Geza Ulole

JF-Expert Member
Joined Oct 31, 2009
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Posted Tuesday, March 2 2010 at 19:33In Summary
  • Chinese Government constructed Tazara in 1970s
  • Zambia and China signs several trade agreements
  • President Banda is in China for a nine-day state visit

China has written off 50 per cent of the unpaid loan used for the construction of Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara), Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told Zambian President Rupiah Banda in China.
The Chinese Government constructed Tazara railway line, which stretches about 1,860km from Dar es Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia, between 1970 and 1975 with an interest free loan worth $73.3 million at the time.
A former senior Tazara official told Africa Review that neither Tazara, Zambia nor Tanzania had repaid the loan.
"Not even a coin has been paid," said a former official, who sought anonymity.
President Banda, who is in China for a nine-day state visit ending this Thursday, last week met Chinese President Hu Jintao, Mr Wen and other top government officials.
Significant asset
According to President Banda's spokesperson, Mr Dickson Jere, Mr Wen informed President Banda and his entourage that China had decided to cancel 50 per cent of the unpaid debt.
"President Banda thanked the Chinese Government for the decision to cancel half of the unpaid loan, saying it will go a long way in helping the company to resuscitate its operations," stated Mr Jere in press release posted on State House website.
"The Chinese Government said it will also put up a team of experts to help Tazara overcome its difficulties, because it was a very significant asset for the economic development of Zambia and the neighbouring countries."
In July last year, President Banda and his Tanzanian counterpart Jakaya Kikwete agreed to concession the financially embattled Tazara, preferably to Chinese companies.
In December last year, China provided a $39 million loan to Tazara to purchase six new locomotives, repair 1,200 coaches and other essentials to revamp the operations of the railway line.
And Mr Jere stated that President Banda invited Chinese investors to put up their investments in Zambia.
Zambia and China signed several agreements on economic and social sectors.'s%20loan/-/825442/871974/-/view/printVersion/-/4inr55/-/index.html

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