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Is China really to blame for Zambia's debt problems?

2018-10-12 09:17:17       source:The Aljazeera

October 11, 2018

Zambia's public debt has increased significantly in recent years, and concerns over a possible crisis have lately attracted the attention of Western media. On September 3, a report by British business intelligence outlet Africa Confidential warned of escalating debt caused by allegedly unsustainable Chinese loans and claimed that Zesco, the state-owned national electricity company, has been in talks about a takeover by a Chinese company.

The Zambian government refuted the allegations and denied the existence of plans for Zesco's privatisation.

The allegations coincided with increased Western concern over the expansion of Chinese loans to African countries. Two weeks after the UK froze its aid to Zambia following an investigation into large-scale corruption in a Social Cash Transfer programme it supported, other donors (Ireland, Finland and Sweden) did the same.

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