Data from the Center for Global Development Policy at Boston University, consulted this Sunday by Lusa, show that the largest loan in the last two decades went to the oil company Sonangol.
Angola contracted 258 loans, totaling 45 billion dollars, which represents more than a quarter (26.5 percent) of the total lent by China to Africa, the most recent of which was granted last year by the state defense company for the aerial technology (CATIC).
Energy and transport were the sectors that consumed the most Chinese money – 25.9 and 6.2 billion dollars, respectively – absorbing more than half of the loans.
In more recent years, funds were allocated mainly to the Defense and Communication Technologies sectors.
In 2021, an agreement was signed with the Export-Import Bank of China (Chexim) for a public security and anti-crime surveillance project, worth 79.7 million dollars, and an extension of the technical assistance contract to the Air Force with CATIC, for 30.3 million dollars.
Last year, CATIC granted a new loan to the Angolan government worth 18.6 million dollars to purchase military equipment, goods and services for the Air Force.
Since 2000, the Chinese state bank CHEXIM has been one of the main financiers of the Angolan government through loans in the most diverse areas, but it was also the state-owned China Development Bank (CDB) that granted the largest amount of money during this period, in a single contract worth one billion dollars awarded in 2013 to Sonangol.
The database does not mention the purposes for which the credit was intended for the Angolan oil company, which is described only as "Sonangol Development".
In the energy area, other relevant loans are the 838 million dollars for the Soyo combined cycle plant, granted in 2015 by ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) and the electrification projects in Luanda (452 million dollars granted by the CDB) and Zaire (405 million dollars from ICBC and China Misheg), with contracts signed in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
In the transport sector, the most expensive financing was for the port of Caio (932 million dollars in 2016), rehabilitation of the Caxito-Nzeto road (619 million dollars in 2007) and the Nzeto-Soyo road (509 million dollars in 2015) and purchase of 5,500 buses, all via CHEXIM.
The CLA Database, started in 2007, uses several sources to count Chinese loans granted to Africa and estimates that, between 2000 and 2022, a total of 39 Chinese financing entities signed 1,243 loans totaling 170 billion dollars with 49 African governments and seven regional institutions.
This database only presents the value of contractual loans, which are not equivalent to the total debt as they only include contracts and not disbursements, repayments or defaults.