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Report Debunking Kenya’s Mombasa Port Panic Leads to Debt Trap Reckoning from Press

African press outlets are reacting to a new report debunking the idea that China will seize Kenya’s Mombasa port in the event of a default on its Standard Gauge Railway loan. But the diversity of the reaction shows how snarled the issue of Chinese lending ...

New Report Kills off the Mombasa Port Seizure Conspiracy Theory

Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway is now arguably the most controversial Chinese project in Africa, due to runaway rumors that debt from the notoriously opaque agreement will lead to the seizure of the port of Mombasa by Chinese banks. This controversy prompted Professor Deborah ...

Sri Lanka’s Debt Nightmare Kicks Off Familiar Narratives Abroad 

"We have lost the ability to repay foreign debt." This was the message from Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe to journalists on Tuesday. The announcement could signal a wave of defaults across the Global South and makes Sri Lanka the newest front in a war ...

Against Debt Trap Allegations as Financial Crisis Worsens

As Sri Lankan society buckles under an economic crisis fueled in part by an enormous debt burden, China is pushing back against allegations that it stranded the desperate country in a ‘debt trap.’ Mass protests took place across Sri Lanka throughout last ...

Fears that China Will Seize Mombasa Port Unfounded: Upcoming Report

Throughout the last two years, Kenya has been rattled by reports that its debt to China for the troubled Standard Gauge Railway could lead to the seizure of the Port of Mombasa. Since then this story and the other ‘debt trap’ narratives like it have largely been debunked.

Chinese Infrastructure Loans to Africa Are Not Aid – But What Are They?

As concern grows as to how countries like Kenya will repay their loans to China, navigating misinformation about Chinese lending remains challenging. Johns Hopkins University Professor Deborah Brautigam, one of the world’s leading experts on Chinese lending to Africa, unpacked the issue in a public lecture on ...

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Talks Debts Traps and Vaccines at Two Sessions

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi again dismissed the idea that Chinese projects are trapping Africa in debt, instead calling them ‘monuments of cooperation.’ Wang made the remarks on Monday at a press conference on the sidelines of the Two Sessions meeting ...

Public Editor of Uganda’s Daily Monitor Newspaper Acknowledges Errors in Entebbe Airport Coverage

Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper has for the first time acknowledged some wrongdoing in a November report that sowed panic about China seizing Entebbe International Airport. Odoobo C. Bichachi, the Nation Media Group’s Uganda Public Editor, admitted in an op-ed on Friday that the article was misleading. ...

Is China’s Lending Particularly “Aggressive”?

Amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the bleakest prognosis on climate change yet, you may have missed the ongoing saga of Uganda’s Entebbe Airport. A quick recap: Uganda loaned $325 million from China Exim Bank to upgrade the airport. ...

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 ...
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