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China Cancels Rwanda’s Debt as Sign of 'Healthy Bilateral Cooperation'

© AP Photo / Kin Cheung A woman walks by a money exchange shop decorated with different countries currency banknotes at Central, a business district in Hong Kong, Aug. 6, 2019.
 A woman walks by a money exchange shop decorated with different countries currency banknotes at Central, a business district in Hong Kong, Aug. 6, 2019. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.11.2022
Following the signing of the agreement to write off the loan, Rwanda's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana stated that Rwanda is already receiving Chinese assistance in a variety of sectors such as infrastructure, energy, education, and healthcare, among other areas.
China has provided $7.1 million (50 million Yuan) in debt relief to Rwanda, writing off a loan that had been taken by the African country’s government to construct the 6.36-kilometer Masaka-Kabuga road.
The debt cancellation is part of China’s president Xi Jinping's economic package that was introduced at the Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on November 29.

“The two countries enjoy a healthy bilateral cooperation. This is evidenced by the substantial contribution of the Republic of China towards Rwanda’s development aspirations. The agreement we signed today cements this relationship,” Ndagijimana elaborated.

The minister earlier stressed the important economic significance that China's gesture has for the African country.

"[It] will free some resources that were otherwise going to be used for debt payment," he said.

Meanwhile, China's Ambassador to Rwanda Wang Xueku expressed his hope that this financial support will help Rwanda recover from the pandemic's aftermath and pointed out that China-Rwanda cooperation is likely to deepen and develop.

"In the future, China will work with Rwanda for deeper practical cooperation in various fields under the Belt and Road Initiative framework to deliver more benefits to the two peoples," Xueku pointed out.

The Belt and Road Initiative that the ambassador spoke of is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 for investment in nearly 150 countries, including Rwanda.
In turn, Ndagijimana thanked Chinese government for their support “during these challenging times caused by COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, despite Africa currently facing many challenges following the consequences of the pandemic and slow global economic recovery, the outlook for the continent is bright, as Africa's role in the global arena continues to grow.
Speaking of Chinese-African relations in July, Lijian assured his country's commitment to help bring security and economic development to the African nation.
The entrance to the new Parliament building where Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa delivered his State of the Nation Address in Mt Hampden, about 18 kilometres west of the capital Harare, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.11.2022
China Helps Africa To Erase Colonial Past, Experts Say
Currently, China is developing a number of infrastructure projects in Rwanda. In particular, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is expanding and renovating the Butaro District Hospital in the north of the country. The Chinese company is also said to be working to increase the hospital's capacity from 140 to 240 beds, as well as add an emergency room and cancer center. Once the expansion work is completed, the district hospital will be transformed into the Butaro Regional Medical and Health Center, and become the only major hospital in the area with an intensive care unit.
The same Chinese firm undertook a voluntary upgrade of municipal roads in Rwanda's northern region in September this year to help reduce the number of car accidents, particularly during the rainy season, according to the reports. Residents claim that since the reconstruction, there hasn't been a single accident on that part of the road.
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