The Chinese Embassy in Uganda on Sunday pushed back against foreign media speculations that China would "seize" control of Uganda's main international airport after the country failed to repay loans, saying that no project in Africa has been "seized" by China due to inability to replay loans.
Malicious speculation that Uganda sacrificed core assets to raising Chinese fund has no factual basis and distort the traditional friendship between China and developing countries, including Uganda, a spokesperson for the embassy said.
"No project in Africa has ever been 'seized' by China because it could not repay its loan. On the contrary, China firmly supports and is willing to continue to make efforts to improve Africa's capacity for independent development," the spokesperson said.
The loan contract for Uganda's Entebbe International Airport reconstruction project was finalized in March, 2015, under which the Export-Import Bank of China offered $200 million in loan. Despite impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has progressed smoothly and 75.1 percent of the work has been completed thanks to concerted efforts by Chinese firms and relevant Uganda authorities, according to the spokesperson, adding that the airport will be delivered by the end of 2022.
The spokesperson further noted that contracts for the project is in line with international financing rules. "China-Uganda cooperation always adheres to the principles of openness, transparency, equality and mutual benefit. All loan agreements, including the Entebbe Airport reconstruction and expansion project, are voluntarily signed by both parties through dialogue and negotiation. There are no hidden terms and no political conditions are attached," the spokesperson said.
In addition to the airport project, China has also provided financial support in multiple sectors of the Ugandan economy, including agriculture, education, medical, sanitation and social infrastructure, according to the embassy.