Table 6: Leading African Economies with Significant Chinese Borrowing

Angola 25
Ethiopia 13.5
Kenya 7.9
Rep. of Congo 7.3
Sudan 6.4
Zambia 6
Cameroon 5.5
Nigeria 4.8
Ghana 3.5
Dem. Rep. of Congo 3.4

Data sources:  Chiwanza (2018 & 2019)


Figure 6: Leading African Economies with Significant Chinese Borrowing

Data sources:  Chiwanza (2018 & 2019)


 . Angola is the leading African economy with the highest borrowing (US$25 billion) from China. The Democratic Republic of Congo’s indebtedness to China (US$3.4 billion) is the 10th highest on the continent.

  • Ethiopia and Kenya have the respective second (US$13.5 billion) and third (US$7.9 billion) highest borrowings from China.


  • Nigeria and Ghana are 8th and 9th in the rankings with respective US$4.8 billion and US$3.5 billion indebtedness to China.


  • The indebtedness of Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana to China is not significant relative to their respective GDP values.


  • Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia are more indebted to the external private sector than to policy banks and China.


  • In Djibouti, external debt constitutes about 80% of GDP; and 77% of the country’s total debt is owed to China.


  • Zambia’s indebtedness to China constitutes about 35% of GDP, one of the highest in Africa.


  • Angola’s total indebtedness to China (US$25 billion) is more than seven times the total amount owed by Ghana to China (US$3.5 billion).


  • Djibouti, Kenya and Ghana have major ports financed by China.


  • In Kenya, external debts constitute about 61% of GDP; in Ghana, external debts are equivalent to 35.8% of GDP.  


  • Total loans contracted by China to economies constitute over 90% of the country’s total external lending. That is, Chinese external loans are more public-focused than private-centered.


  • On 13th June, 2020, the Chinese President, Mr. Xi Jinping, announced his country’s readiness to: (a) exempt some African countries from repaying the zero-interest-rate loans that are due at the end of 2020; and (b) provide further support, including loan maturing extensions, and freeing up of funds needed to deal with impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • The above initiative adds up to earlier one by the G-20 member countries to suspend payments for least developed or poor countries that are in deep economic crises as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  


Indeed, A MIGHTY GHANAIAN “TREE” (Former President Flt. Lt. (Rtd.) Jerry John Rawlings) has fallen (Thursday, 12th November, 2020)

Ebenezer Ashley (PhD),

Chartered Economist/

Business Consultant Chidozie Stephen

Please kindly contact on Email: for your credible news publications

Ngamegbulam C. S

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