Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

Entebbe Airport Clarification Draws Lackluster Media Response

Last December, the Daily Monitor in Uganda unleashed a firestorm with an article claiming that the Entebbe International Airport was in danger of being seized as collateral for an unpaid Chinese loan. The story was poorly-sourced and ill-informed (for example, the loan in question wasn’t out of its grace period, so there was no question of default.) Yet, the story garnered widespread attention around the world, not least in an equally shoddy Trevor Noah insert that took the so-called seizure as proof of Chinese debt-trap diplomacy.

This week, the research body AidData announced that they had obtained a full, unredacted version of the Entebbe Airport loan contract. In their report they point out that the contract never allowed the lender (China Exim Bank) to seize the airport. However, it was a very tough contract nonetheless, demanding that the Ugandan government maintain a cash deposit in an escrow account to be seized by the lender in the case of a default.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.