John Magufuli: Tanzania prefers ‘condition-free’ Chinese aid :: Kenya

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Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has said he prefers Chinese to Western aid as it comes with fewer conditions.

Mr Magufuli has been under intense pressure from Western nations over his controversial policies.

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On 15 November, Denmark said it had suspended $9.8 million (Sh1 billion) in aid because of “unacceptable homophobic comments” by a Tanzanian politician. China has become a major investor in Africa, challenging Western influence on the continent.

It has promised to spend $60 billion (Sh6.1 trillion) in investment, aid and loans in Africa over the next three years, mostly in infrastructure development.

“The thing that makes you happy about (Chinese) aid is that it is not tied to any conditions. When they decide to give you, they just give you,” Magufuli said.

He was speaking at the opening of a library at the main university in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam. China assisted in building the $40.6 million (Sh4.1 billion) library.

“They have helped us in a lot of other areas of development,” Magufuli said, adding that the two nations would continue strengthening ties.

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The European Union (EU) is currently the East African state’s biggest development partner, giving aid of more than $88 million (Sh9 billion) annually.

The EU announced earlier this month that it was reviewing its policy towards Tanzania because of concerns about the rights of gay people and restrictions on civil society groups.

Last month, Dar es Salaam commissioner Paul Makonda called on the public to report suspected gay men to the police.

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The government said at the time that Mr Makonda was expressing his personal opinion, not government policy. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania.

 

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By Kenyan Digest

The Kenyan Digest Team