The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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China Announces Debt Cancellation at African Summit


China's President Xi Jingping announced a $60 billion debt relief and financing package to African countries during a China-Africa summit. President Jingping said China would cancel outstanding debt from African countries due this year but did not specify an amount. The package, announced during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg, South Africa, includes grants, zero-interest loans and other concessional financing.

"Several African countries urgently need debt relief and other financing for development,"noted Eric LeCompte, executive director of the religious development group, Jubilee USA. "We continue to be concerned with what China asks for in exchange for debt relief and the general transparency in debt negotiations."

In 2009, China cancelled debt for 32 African countries. African debt levels rose in the past five years from 34% of the size of the continent's total economy to 44%. Ghana's debt rose from just over 40% of its economy in 2011 to nearly 75% in 2015.

"Africa's rising debt levels are troubling," stated LeCompte. "If we want growth and development in Africa, debts need to be sustainable."

Read more about the high levels of debt facing African countries.

Read more about debt relief in West Africa in response to the Ebola epidemic.

Jubilee USA Network is an interfaith, non-profit alliance of religious, development and advocacy organizations. We are 75 U.S. institutions and more than 750 faith groups working across the United States and around the globe. We address the structural causes of poverty and inequality in our communities and countries around the world.

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