The Head of State made the disclosure on Wednesday 14th December 2022 during a conversation with Semafor news outlet in Washington DC of the United States of America (USA).
During the conversation on the sidelines of US-Africa Leaders Summit, President Kagame responded to different questions regarding Rwanda and international politics.
Semafor editor, Steve Clemons raised a question on African countries debts owed to China considered as a trap.
Kagame said that the blame should not only be put on China but also the country which accepted such overwhelming debts.
“If there is any debt trap with any country and China, we should blame it on both sides. If you keep being drawn into a debt that you are not sure how you are going to repay, you also have a problem as the one who keeps giving you money knowing that you won’t be able to pay,” he said.
The alarm for Africa-China debt trap is often raised by institutions and leaders from USA and Europe warning the African continent that it will end up failing to repay the debts received from China mainly to build infrastructures.
President Kagame said that China identified Africa as an investment destination to fill existing gaps. He highlighted that those blaming China should first explain why they chose to fold arms instead of bringing their investments.
“China will necessarily find a way to bring their money into Africa because it is simple that there are gaps and therefore, they take advantage of filling those gaps. That question should go to the other sides, whether the United States, Europe or others. Why are there these gaps? Why don’t you make the investments? The investment gaps that China takes advantage of, come and does whatever they do?”
“You can’t complain about China coming to Africa and doing whatever they are doing, bad or good and you are there not doing anything about investing yourself in the continent,” added Kagame.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s debt burden increased to record US$702 billion in 2020 from US$380,9 in 2012. China’s share account for at least 20 percent of Africa’s debts.