We don’t have a problem with China – Kenneth Matambo

Botswana’s Finance and Economic Development Minister Kenneth Matambo said on Saturday that the southern African country will pursue external funding instruments, especially those from China.

Image: Kenneth Matambo

Further fending off accusations that China is setting a debt trap for developing countries in Africa, including Botswana, during a press conference in Francistown, Botswana’s second largest city, Matambo said Botswana does not have a problem with China.

“We do not have a problem with China at all,” said the minister. “We have dealt with China before and we know what we are doing as a government.”

Botswana and China have strong bilateral relations and there is no way the world’s second-largest economy will set a debt trap for Botswana, Matambo added.

Dumelang Saleshando, leader of Botswana’s main opposition political party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP), suggested earlier that the President Mokgweetsi Masisi administration should exhaust local capital space before pursuing external funding instruments from China and international financial institutions.

According to Matambo, Botswana takes all the necessary precautionary measures before embarking on external resources.

China agreed to extend a loan to Botswana for rail and road infrastructure on the sidelines of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last September.

The loan is expected to be used for improving road connectivity in the northern part of the country so as to better promote the development of tourist attraction areas.