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Monday, 24 January 2011

Debt Watch (China)

We continue the practice of routinely tracking new debt obligations by Zambia. We regard this as absolutely vital in view of the poverty of information from central government. It is up to us to paint our own picture from the information emerging from various news sources and sporadic government reports. Recently we were informed that China has lend Zambia money in two areas.

First report is on the US $94m loan to construct a new stadium in Lusaka and undertake repairs to the old Independence Stadium. When these projects are done it is thought that Zambia will have three stadiums of respectable international stadiums. Two in Lusaka and one in Ndola. The money for all three of course is debt financed. In word of President Banda, "due to the huge capital investment required for the project and constraints in our national budget, government was unable to undertake the project". 

Second report relates to Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) which this will receive six locomotives and 90 copper wagons through a "soft loan" it obtained from China. We are not told how much is involved.

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