What China’s new lending rules will mean for African states

By Herald Aloo
Posted on Tuesday, 1 November 2022 12:20

Kenya's former President Uhuru Kenyatta cuts the ribbon during the commissioning of the Nairobi Expressway undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), July 31, 2022. REUTERS

China will give loans to Kenya and other African states only after a thorough evaluation of borrowing requests. Disbursements could therefore be through specific programmes, and depend on each country’s ability to pay off debts.

This will be a deviation from the dolling out of infrastructure funds that China has been known for in the past decade, reaffirming its commitment to change lending policy in Africa and cut investment projects.

China will be looking at countries’ pending debt payments before clearing any more loans to African states, which have increasingly been indebted in recent years.

“We are willing to listen, discuss and improve cooperation as equal partners […] The Chinese may fit in some programmes so going forward the priority of our cooperation will be decided by two sides involved,” Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjiang said in a recent press conference in Nairobi.