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Boston University: How Much African Debt Did China Forgive?

On August 19, 2022, China announced it would waive 23 interest-free loans (IFLs) for 17 African countries. The loans  had been due by the end of 2021 . Beijing didn’t specify the details. The Global Development Policy Center of Boston University estimated that each of the forgiven debts might be between $45 million and $610 million, with a possible total of $2.2 billionl, or around 1 percent of the $159.98 billion that China committed to lend to African countries from 2000 to 2020.

The research also pointed out that,  from 2005-2022, Beijing did ten debt cancellations for African countries including the most recently announced one. IFL provisions and cancelations are important diplomatic and symbolic tools in China’s lending practices and are likely to continue to be in the future.

Source: Boston University, September 9, 2022

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