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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Debt Watch (China), 3rd Edition

China's Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) recently announced a new loan to Zambia of around $285 million to the poorly run ZESCO. The funds are mean to support a new inter-connector to link Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya allegedly is intended to, wait for it, "boost mineral exploration, agriculture and tourism". The loan will be repaid over 20 years, with a five-year grace period. Construction of the power line will start in November 2011 and will be done by China's TBEA. China always insists on using its companies. More detail via Reuters.

Related Posts :

Debt Watch (China), 2nd Edition
Debt Watch (China)

3 comments:

  1. So the Zambian govt has finally borrowed money to help in the further electrification of our neighbouring countries! I have always wondered why a country in which less than 20% of the population have access to electricity is so eager to 'export' electricity and 'earn' foreign exchange! Politicians, technocrates and others have recently talked about exporting electricity once the Lower Kafue and Itezhi Tezhi projects come on stream. Honestly, we should be talking about expanding electricity coverage throughout our country. Both Kenya and Tanzania are electricity-deficient countries and Zambian authorities shouldnt kid themselves that power will ever flow from these countries to Zambia. It seems 'development' in Zambia will never be directed at the citizenry. It is merely aimed at 'raking up' growth figures which have no bearing on the lives of Zambians. Kenya only generates about 1500MW of electricity but has 25% of its 36m population having access to electricity. Zambia currently has more or less the same wattage available but less than 20% of the 13m people have access to electricity. These are some of the reasons why we score very poorly on the UN Human Development Index (lower than countries that have a lower GDP per capita than Zambia i.e Uganda, Kenya and Ghana). If this power line is so important to the other two countries they should have borne the costs of building it. It is time our govts started putting Zambians first! We have had enough of this 'Pan-Africanism' in which only Zambians are expected to sacrifice be it for the liberation or development of other countries and at the end of the day they laugh at our poverty!

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  2. Frank,

    It is time our govts started putting Zambians first! We have had enough of this 'Pan-Africanism' in which only Zambians are expected to sacrifice be it for the liberation or development of other countries and at the end of the day they laugh at our poverty!

    It isn't 'pan-africanism' that is the problem, it is globalisation.

    Zambia is not losing $2.5 billion a year or more in mining profits to panafricanism, but to the highly corrupt notion of 'free trade'.

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  3. Zambia is a neoliberal patrimonial state - partly created - but built by the MMD, a process aided by the World Bank and the IMF - and now the Chinese. As a result, the average longevity at birth of our citizens is now the same as Zimbabwe - 33 years. This is a disgrace of monumental proportions. The result of this loan will be to further raise electricity prices in urban areas - ensuring the continued pillaging of our forests and the destruction of our rivers, wetlands and their associated peoples. And it will bring little light to our rural people. Doubtless ZESCO will soon be privatised and the waPajero will put on even more mafuta to cope with the long and arduous winters in the places where they have stashed their loot - Zambia now being number ten in the world for illicit financial flows.

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