China has announced the cancellation of accumulated interest payments on all loans it provided to Ethiopia until the end of 2018, Ethiopia's Office of the Prime Minister disclosed on Wednesday April 24th.
The announcement was made by President Xi Jinping during his meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Beijing. The two leaders also discussed a wide range of common concerns ahead of the Belt and Road forum.
Late last year, China agreed to restructure some of the loans it had given to Ethiopia, including a loan for a $4 billion railway linking its capital Addis Ababa with neighboring Djibouti. The maturity period for the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway loan was extended from ten years to 30 years.
President Xi commended the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy and the ongoing, sweeping reforms that the leader of the Horn of Africa country introduced and implemented over the last year.
He emphasised that the Chinese government attaches high importance to the $1 billion-plus Beautifying Sheger project in Addis Ababa and is working on grant assistance to support the project.
Both leaders agreed to a strengthened cooperation between the two countries in various fields. In 2017 China and Ethiopia agreed to a comprehensive, strategic, cooperative partnership.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived in Beijing on Tuesday April 23rd to attend the second Belt and Road Forum.