President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (left) being welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his residence in Tokyo,Japan on Wednesday,December 19,2018. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2018
President Edgar Chagwa Lungu (left) being welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his residence in Tokyo,Japan on Wednesday,December 19,2018. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2018

Japan’s prime minister on Thursday warned African leaders against accumulating too much debt, in an apparent reference to Chinese infrastructure projects that some blame for damaging the finances of developing nations.

Addressing leaders from several African nations at a development conference in Yokohama, Shinzo Abe stressed that Tokyo was promoting “quality” infrastructure exports and investments, supported by Japan’s government-backed institutions.

“What should the government do to encourage (entrepreneurs) to exercise their skills?” Abe asked the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

“If partner countries are deeply in debt, it interferes with everyone’s efforts to enter the market,” he said, introducing financing and insurance schemes by Japan’s government-baked institutions aimed at reducing risks to businesses and public coffers.

He also announced that Japan plans to train experts in 30 African countries in next three years on managing risks and public debts.

The comment came as Abe aims to boost Japan’s presence in the promising African market but many businesses are wary of financial and other risks.

But China, with its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, now enjoys a massive presence in the continent, having announced $60bn in development funding for Africa last year.
The Chinese efforts, however, have faced criticism for favouring Chinese companies and workers over local economies, saddling nations with debts and ignoring rights and environmental issues.

Japan stresses that its loans and projects come with fewer strings attached and with sound financial advice and support.

Since 1993, Japan has partnered with African countries to hold the TICAD conference around every five years in a drive to promote aid and business opportunities.

Japan, with its own government funding problems, has struggled to increase its foreign aid money.

It has shifted its focus on encouraging the private sector to invest in Africa.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Did Lungu listen to Prime Minister Abe of Japan we wonder? Zambia’s Debt is Scarey and no longer sustainable. Even IMF has advised the same thing. Zambia needs to restructure its Debt otherwise it will default soon. Does the Visionless Lungu listen? Time will tell.

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    • It is a question of do as I say and not as I do because Japan, with its population of 127,185,332, has the highest national debt in the world at 235.96% of its GDP (although, notably, Japan is also one of the world’s largest economies). Zambia recorded a government debt equivalent to 59 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2018. It reached an all time high of 277.53 percent in 1991 and a record low of 28.80 percent in 2013. What is sad is that Zambia’s all time high debt in 1991 was mostly used on consumption. So how can the so-called visionless Lungu listen to Japan when its debt management is worse than that of Zambia.

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    • That is the problem in Zambia because maize is food and yet the prices of other types of food are still reasonable and this is why at this same forum Japan is encouraging Africa to grow rice. Japan cannot have load shading because there is no such thing as load shading. Perhaps you meant load shedding.

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    • Senior Engineer; Basic economics, Japan has the 3rd largest economy. Japan’s debt is held predominantly by domestic creditors. The denomination of it’s debt is in Japanese currency. All factors are not the case for poor Zambia, with it’s corrupt administration.

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    • “If HH had been the skipper of Zambia National Team and not Kalu, Zambia could have won at least 5 AFCON Cups,” Ha Gay Jay and Tribal INCOMPOS.

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  2. We hope someone heard!
    And when citizens say the same thing about irresponsible debt contraction and corruption, emotions and threats run high! Hope he has heard!

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    • HH’s corruption and stolen money from privatization has confused UPND zealots! They see in others “thieves” and not in their leader! CHILDISH.

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  3. Rome was not built in night it took a lot of sacrifice to build Rome unless we do the same so are we going to see progress,so stop bwa bwa bwa bwa bwa .

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  4. this is what we have been telling dogs, a sound warning from Japanese friends. Antonia Mwanaza was busy boasting about infrastructure development muli kaloba?

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  5. this is what we have been telling do gs, a sound warning from Japanese friends. Antonia Mwanaza was busy boasting about infrastructure development muli kaloba?

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  6. It’s too late . That rat has accumulated so much debt and filled his and his families pockets while you suffer you dull Zambians. As for me I am here in UK with my beautiful white wife enjoying life and even eating from my investments in Zambia. Me and my white wife say continue voting pf and reaping what you sow

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  7. Rt Hon Abe, I am sure that he has responded that there is no country in the world which doesn’t borrow. And that all you should as Japan is to give us more money and some rice.
    In other words the debt advice fell on deaf ears as far as Zambia is concerned.

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  8. Prime-Exclusive Minister Abe was advising African Countries to borrow Responsibly. Japan lends responsibly while China lends Irresponsibly and uses its Chinese Labour, Materials and Capital. Chinese lending in African Countries has led to high indebtedmess and Corruption in Chinese funded Road Projects. While China believes in Zero Tolerance in Corruption at home it encourages corruption it the Projects they finance in Africa. That’s the downside with Chinese Lending.

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  9. Let people take advice serious. Advisors have learned from mistakes experienced.
    Borrow responsibly to prevent unnecessary devaluation of the currency,unnecessary interest rates and unnecessary increase in bank Notes in circulation
    We need increase in gross domestic products, increase exports and reduce imports and debt servicing as a way to go to develop Zambia,s economy as this is the only way to trigger social and other developnents

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