Top 10 Countries with the Highest Debt to China in Africa

As Africa continues to navigate its development trajectory, external debt has become a significant concern, especially with the rise of loans from China. In recent years, China has emerged as a major creditor to African nations, financing various infrastructure projects and development initiatives. However, the increasing debt owed to China by African countries has raised questions about its implications for the continent’s economic sovereignty and future sustainability.

In this article, we delve into the top 10 African countries with the highest debts to China, exploring the factors contributing to this debt burden and its potential impact.


Angola tops the list as one of the largest debtors to China in Africa. The country has borrowed extensively from Chinese lenders to finance its infrastructure projects, particularly in the energy and transportation sectors. However, the collapse of oil prices in recent years has strained Angola’s economy, making it challenging to service its debt obligations to China.


Ethiopia has received significant financial support from China for its ambitious infrastructure projects, including the construction of railways, roads, and industrial parks. While these investments have contributed to Ethiopia’s economic growth, concerns have been raised about the country’s ability to repay its mounting debt to Chinese creditors, especially amid economic challenges and political instability.


Kenya has also accumulated substantial debt owed to China, primarily for financing infrastructure projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the expansion of ports and roads. While these investments are expected to enhance Kenya’s economic competitiveness, critics argue that the country’s debt burden could undermine its fiscal sustainability and increase its dependency on external creditors.

Republic of Congo:

The Republic of Congo has borrowed heavily from China to fund its infrastructure development projects, particularly in the oil and mining sectors. However, declining oil revenues and economic mismanagement have strained the country’s ability to service its debt obligations, raising concerns about its long-term financial stability.


Zambia’s reliance on Chinese loans to finance its infrastructure projects, including roads, airports, and energy facilities, has led to a significant increase in its debt levels. The country’s economic challenges, exacerbated by declining copper prices and fiscal mismanagement, have raised doubts about its ability to repay its debts to China, sparking fears of a debt crisis.


Cameroon has borrowed extensively from China to finance its infrastructure projects, including roads, ports, and stadiums, ahead of major international events such as the Africa Cup of Nations. However, concerns have been raised about the transparency and sustainability of these loans, amid allegations of corruption and fiscal mismanagement.


Ghana’s growing debt to China is primarily driven by investments in infrastructure projects such as the expansion of ports, roads, and hydroelectric dams. While these investments are aimed at stimulating economic growth and enhancing the country’s infrastructure, critics warn of the risks associated with Ghana’s rising debt levels and its implications for long-term fiscal sustainability.


Sudan’s debt to China has accumulated over the years, fueled by investments in infrastructure projects, including oil refineries, power plants, and telecommunications networks. However, political instability, economic sanctions, and the loss of oil revenues have strained Sudan’s ability to service its debt obligations to Chinese creditors, posing significant challenges to its economic recovery.


Djibouti’s strategic location along key maritime routes has attracted significant Chinese investment in port infrastructure and other development projects. While these investments have boosted Djibouti’s economy and transformed it into a regional trade hub, concerns have been raised about the country’s growing debt to China and its implications for sovereignty and national security.


Mauritania has increasingly turned to China for financing its infrastructure projects, including the development of mining and fishing industries, as well as the construction of roads and ports. However, the country’s economic vulnerability, coupled with its reliance on volatile commodity prices, raises concerns about its ability to repay its debts to Chinese creditors.



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