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African nation turns to China after West halts funding over anti-gay law


Uganda wants to borrow $150 million to expand its internet infrastructure

 

Uganda is seeking a loan from China after the World Bank stopped funding due to the country’s adoption of an anti-homosexuality law, Reuters has reported.  

The East African country wants to borrow $150 million from China’s Export Import Bank (Exim) to help develop its internet infrastructure, the news agency said, citing Uganda’s Finance Ministry.  

A junior finance minister and the minister for information asked lawmakers on Monday to authorize the debt, the ministry wrote on X (formerly Twitter).  

The move reflects Uganda’s increasing reliance on Chinese lenders, after the World Bank suspended all new funding programs to the East African country in August.   

The Washington-based institution, one of Uganda’s major lenders, halted all loans to the country after President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act. 

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Western critics have noted that the new law makes “aggravated homosexuality” a capital offense and imposes penalties of up to life in prison for consensual same-sex relations.

According to the ministry, the loan from Exim will finance the “supply, installation, commissioning and support of the national data transmission backbone infrastructure.”  

Uganda previously borrowed $200 million from China to expand the country’s main airport in Entebbe.   

It is also in talks with Exim and Chinese export credit agency Sinosure for another loan to finance the construction of a pipeline to help the country export crude oil to international markets.

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