China has cancelled a $7.1 million interest-free loan given to Rwanda to build the 6.36-kilometre Masaka-Kabuga road under the Kigali urban road upgrading project, Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said in a statement.

The move is part of the Chinese government’s decision to write-off the outstanding interest-free loan in accordance with the agreement on economic and technical cooperation between the two nations.

“China hopes, by offering this financial support, to make a contribution to Rwanda’s all-round transformation and recovery from the malign impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Chinese ambassador to Rwanda Wang Xuekun said in the statement.

China will work with Rwanda for deeper practical cooperation in various fields under the Belt and Road initiative framework in the future, he added.

In August 2022, China’s Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi said Beijing would waive 23 interest-free loans to 17 African countries, which matured by 2021-end.

Beijing has delivered $3 billion of $10 billion of credit facilities pledged to African financial institutions since the China-Africa cooperation forum took place in Senegal in November 2021, Wang said at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)