Uganda, an African nation in the Eastern Region is estimated at a population of 45 million people with a GDP of 40.53 billion USD (2021).
Statistics from the Finance Ministry indicate that the country’s public debt stood at Shs78.8 trillion at the backend of June 2022.
The country was financed at 37.472 trillion (excluding debt refinancing) in FY 2022/23.
Today, her Government has expressed interest in borrowing up to US$200 million to finance the Investment for Industrial Transformation and Employment (INVITE) Project, which when approved, will see the country’s public debt further hiking.
Most African countries are in the same state as Uganda, and others are even worse.
Now, in relieving these nations, China on Monday urged the United States to to give a hand to address debt issues in African countries.
The call was made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin at a press conference in Beijing when responding to accusations from some U.S. and World Bank officials that China is an obstacle in African debt relief.
“China attaches great importance to debt issues in Africa and actively helps African countries cope with the issues, and has made the largest contribution to the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). China has always been committed to providing support for the economic and social development of developing countries, including African countries, and has always carried out investment and financing cooperation with developing countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Our country has always done its best to help developing countries ease their debt burden,” said Wang.
“China is not the source of the debt trap of African countries, but a partner in helping them and other developing countries get out of the poverty trap,” Wang added.
“Some Western politicians are weaving traps to disrupt and undermine China’s cooperation with developing countries. Their tricks have been seen through by developing countries and the international community, and there is no market for them,” said the spokesman.
“Data from the World Bank showed that multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold nearly three-quarters of Africa’s total external debt, creating the biggest debt burden for African countries. which constitutes the biggest source of debt pressure on developing countries. The debts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) account for nearly 70 percent of the total debt held by multilateral financial institutions. The United States is the largest shareholder of the World Bank and IMF, and financial capital from the U.S. and Europe is the largest commercial creditor of African countries. There is an unshirkable responsibility for the U.S. to participate in solving Africa’s debt problems,” said Wang.
“We urge the U.S. side to earnestly shoulder its responsibilities and make greater efforts to promote the substantive participation of multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors in addressing Africa’s debt issue,” he noted.