Thursday, November 08, 2007

China writes off Sierra Leone's 22 million dollar debt

China has cancelled Sierra Leone's 22 million debt, state radio said Wdnesday.

Visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun and Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura signed the debt relief agreement late Tuesday.

Zhai, who arrived Tuesday and is due to hold talks with President Ernest Koroma and ex-leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, pledged his government's continous support to the development of the impoverished west African nation.

"We are ready to work with the government of Sierra Leone to achieve new progress in the desire to enhance Sino-Sierra Leone solidarity," he added.

In June the Paris Club of Western creditor nations agreed to cancel 218 million dollars or the entire remaining debt of Sierra Leone, equivalent to 91 percent of the country's debt stock by end of 2006.

Sierra Leone is the world's second most impoverished nation sitting in 176th place on the UN Development Programme's Human Development Index for 2006.

China has in recent years embarked on infrastructural construction works in Sierra Leone among them a sports stadium, a giant hotel and conference complex.

IC Publications