Tanzania: John Magufuli asks China to forgive outstanding debt

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Tanzania President John Magufuli has appealed to China to forgive some debt incurred by the East African nation.

Magufuli has made similar requests to creditors in the past, including an appeal to lenders such as the World Bank to cancel the debt of African nations in April, to provide financial leverage to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Tanzania’s president confirmed he had presented his latest request to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his visit to the country where the two officials oversaw the signing of a deal for the construction of a 341 km rail line by two Chinese firms.

Magufuli asks for debt relief from China

Tanzania President John Magufuil confirmed on Friday his request to China to forgive some of the country’s debt after submitting his appeal to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. However, Magufuli acknowledged that any debt relief from China would be difficult to secure.

“[Wang Yi] will get our request to China so that they can see how they can forgive our debts because according to their concession laws it is very difficult to forgive debts,” the president said.

The president didn’t provide specific figures for how much debt Tanzania owes to China or how much he hopes to be forgiven by China. Last year, Magufuli said his country spends 700 billion shillings (about $300 million) every month to settle debts with almost 200 billion shillings going to the World Bank.

Featured image: By Prime Minister's Office, Government of India – http://pibphoto.nic.in/photo//2016/Jul/l2016071085800.jpg PM Narendra Modi with President of Tanzania, John Magufuli, GODL-India, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50120539

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.