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Botswanan minister rejects debt trap allegation against China

Staff Writer | February 10, 2019
Botswana's Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo said on Saturday that the southern African country will pursue external funding instruments especially those in China.
Kenneth Matambo
Africa   Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo
Further fending off accusations that China is setting a debt trap for developing countries in Africa, including Botswana, which they cannot repay during a press conference in Francistown, Botswana's second largest city, Matambo said Botswana does not have a problem with China.

"We do not have a problem with China at all," said the minister. "We have dealt with China before and we know what we are doing as a government."

Botswana and China have strong bilateral relations and there is no way the world's second largest economy will set a debt trap for Botswana, Matambo added.

Dumelang Saleshando, leader of Botswana's main opposition political party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP), suggested earlier that the President Mokgweetsi Masisi administration should exhaust local capital space before pursuing external funding instruments from China and international financial institutions.

According to Matambo, Botswana takes all the necessary precautionary measures before embarking on external resources.

China agreed to extend a loan to Botswana for rail and road infrastructure on the sidelines of 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last September.

The loan is expected to construct road connectivity in the northern part of the country so as to better promote the development of tourist attraction areas.