China’s latest round of debt forgiveness, which will see it cancel interest-free loans to 17 African countries, will cover a tiny portion of its lending to the continent, according to a report from Boston University Global Development Policy Center, reports Bloomberg. Africa’s largest bilateral creditor announced the waivers at a meeting last month of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. It didn’t provide details on the value of the 23 interest-free loans that it said had matured at the end of 2021, nor did it state which nations owed the money.
The center estimates the latest relief would amount to between $45 million and $610 million, or about 1% of what the continent owes China. It was difficult to determine an exact amount because of a lack of public information, it said.
Since 2000, Beijing has announced multiple rounds of debt forgiveness of interest-free loans to African countries, canceling at least $3.4 billion of debt through 2019, according to another study published by Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.