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China’s Write-Off of 23 African Loans Doesn’t Move the Debt Needle: Report

China’s announcement last month that it is canceling 23 interest-free loans (IFLs) to seventeen African countries covers at most about 1% of African debt to China, according to a new study by Boston University’s Global Development Policy Center. 

Last month’s cancellation announcement drew much media attention, but Beijing didn’t mention specific amounts or the countries affected. The authors of the report also didn’t have access to official numbers. However, using debt databases, they estimated the written-off debt to range between $45 million and $610 million, with an average of $192.65 million.

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