Rwandan Ambassador to China, James Kimonyo presents local products at the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo held in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province on June 29, 2023. Photo: Tu Lei/GT
Rwandan ambassador to China dismissed the “debt trap” claims against China, saying the narrative of debt-trap is wrong, and that he pushes for more loans from China to finance the development projects in his country.
In any economic structure, you look at the pillars and the projects that are going to support your growth. Once you have identified them, then you look for the resources to implement. And then in the process of looking for the resources, you engage partners. China is a partner that is very open in terms of what we discuss in terms of the financing of projects, Rwandan Ambassador to China James Kimonyo told the Global Times on the sidelines of the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo which kicked off on Thursday in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province.
So once you have good financing, it depends on your own big structure or the statistics. You can’t just borrow for the sake of it. You borrow because you need the money to implement certain projects that are going to accelerate your growth, he added.
China lends money based on the private projects and inferred by the government, and China does the analysis and champions projects that are going to have an impact in a particular economic space, he said.
“China is not putting Africa in debt trap,” Kimonyo told the Global Times, saying that the “debt trap” narrative is wrong.
A view of Rwandan booth at the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo held in Changsha, Central China’s Hunan Province on June 29, 2023. Photo: Tu Lei/GT
Relevant reports from the World Bank have shown that multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold nearly three-quarters of Africa’s total external debt, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They take a larger share of Africa’s debt, and they can and should take more robust actions to relieve the debt burden on African countries, Qin said.
In January of 2023, Foreign Minister Qin Gang refuted the groundless allegation that China is creating a “debt trap” in Africa, in a joint press conference with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat.
We need more money from China to finance projects that are going to accelerate our growth. So how we set operators, how we negotiate is extremely important. It doesn’t have to be one-sided. It has to be both sides negotiating and agreeing on a loan, Kimonyo said.
I’m actually pushing for more loans from China. We need more money from China. So there is no point of complaining when you get money from China as long as the money is invested in the projects that are going to make a difference in the lives of all people, he said.