Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Tanzania says it prefers Chinese aid

Reuters, NAIROBI

Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who has faced threats in recent weeks from Western donors to cut off aid in response to human rights concerns, on Tuesday said he prefers assistance from China, as Beijing imposes fewer conditions.

“The thing that makes you happy about their aid is that it is not tied to any conditions. When they decide to give you [assistance], they just give you,” Magufuli said, according to a statement posted on the State House’s Web site.

He delivered the comments at the launch of a new library at the University of Dar es Salaam built at a cost of 93.6 billion Tanzanian shillings (US$40.52 million) with help from the Chinese government, the president’s office said.

Western donors have increasingly put pressure on Tanzania over what they say is the declining human rights situation there.

Earlier this month, Denmark froze funding to Tanzania, saying it was withholding US$10 million of aid money over concerns about policies that threaten LGBT people.

The EU has also launched a comprehensive review of its policies toward Tanzania over concerns about rights abuses, saying that government pressure had led to the “forced departure” of its ambassador.

The World Bank put a planned US$300 million loan for an education project on hold, partly in response to a law preventing pregnant girls from returning to school.

The lender later said a cautious agreement had been reached to get the loan process back on track after Tanzania agreed to reconsider the legislation.

Magufuli said his government would continue to develop and cultivate its good relationship with China.

“They have helped us in a lot of other areas of development,” Magufuli added.

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