Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has moved to allay fears that loans from the world’s second largest economy China are a debt trap for African countries like his own. Writing on his Facebook page on Tuesday, shortly after arriving in Gaborone from the latest World Economic Forum, Masisi said his government’s decision to accept soft loans from China would lead to nothing that should alarm Botswana.
Masisi wrote that fears that Botswana may find itself in a debt trap like other African countries which have benefited from Chinese loans are largely unfounded. Masisi is convinced that the Asian giant was not using Africa as part of its debt trap that would leave the continent beholden to it in fiscal terms.
He emphasised that while some critics of Chinese loans to Africa may be crying wolf, the world’s second largest economy was not using its soft loan as part of its diplomacy to trap African countries into economic servitude.
He said Botswana, which is heavily reliant on diamond exports, intends to use such loans to diversify its economy. The Botswana leader’s comments follow widespread feelings of mistrust in Africa about China’s motives for its involvement in Africa.