In the last 10 years, East African economies have borrowed $29.42 billion to develop their transport, communication, manufacturing and energy sectors.
The recently released data from the China-Africa Research Initiative (Cari) at John Hopkins University shows that Ethiopia owes Beijing $13.73 billion, followed by Kenya at $9.8 billion. Uganda owes $2.96 billion and Tanzania $2.34 billion.
Rwanda, South Sudan and Burundi owe China the least amounts — $289 million, $182 million, and $99 million respectively.
According to research, the bulk of the monies went into the transport sector, followed by power, communications and manufacturing.
China Exim Bank has been the go-to financier for the region’s governments, giving out more than $16.3 billion.
The region’s economies are now spending almost 8% of their revenues to service these loans, which analysts say are becoming a burden, especially given that their impact is yet to be seen on the growth.