Tanzania has suspended a $10 billion port project given unfair financial conditions in the biggest blow yet to China’s Belt and Road ambitions in Africa.
The port, to be built in Bagamoyo and operated by China Merchants Holding International, would have been the largest in East Africa, dwarfing the Mombasa port in neighbouring Kenya.
Plans also included an industrial zone, with rail and road links to a new region for oil and gas exploration.
But financing terms presented by the Chinese were “exploitative and awkward,” said John Magufuli, Tanzania’s president.
“They want us to give them a guarantee of 33 years and a lease of 99 years, and we should not question whoever comes to invest there once the port is operational,” said Mr Magufuli. “They want to take the land as their own but we have to compensate them for drilling construction of that port.”
China is facing mounting backlash over its ambitious Belt and Road initiative, a $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan to strengthen trade links around the world and increase its global influence.
Source : The Telegraph
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