Sunday, September 27, 2020

Botswana’s foreign debt hovering at over P13 billion

Botswana owes over P13billion to the international financial institutions for the county’s 40 contracted projects.

Parliament this week learnt that, as at March 2018, out of the 40 projects, 36 of them have already been completed and only four are still ongoing. Amongst the on-going projects is the Pandamatenga Agricultural Infrastructural Development Project, Integrated Transport Project, and Agricultural Services Support Project.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo told Parliament that, of the owed institutions, the African Development Fund is owed 12 loans with original loan amounts of P978.49 million. All loans are subject to a fee of 0.75 per cent, 10 years grace period, forty 40 years repayment period and are paid semi-annually. The outstanding balances are at P539.27 million.

There are three loans owed to the African Development Bank with original loan amounts totalling P16.67 billion. The three loans are subject to an interest of six months LIBOR plus 0.40 per cent, five years grace period and 15 years repayment period. Payments are made semi-annually and the outstanding balances total P11.73 billion.

The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa is owed three loans. The original loans contracted amount to P266.92 million and all loans are subject to an interest charge of 3 per cent, five years grace period and 15 years repayment period. The outstanding balances amount to P169.86 million. All loans are paid semi-annually.

European Investment Bank is owed four loans and the original amounts contracted total P107.24 million. The loans are subject to a fee of 0.75 per cent, 10 years grace period and 30 years repayment period. The outstanding balances total P41.15 million and payments are made on semi-annual basis.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is owed three loans with original loan amounts totalling P3.550 billion. The loans are subject to an interest rate for six months LIBOR plus 0.40 per cent. Grace period ranges between five and 10 years while repayment period ranges between 18 years and 25 years. The debt outstanding amount is to P1.64 billion. The payments are made semiannually.

International Development Association has five loans still owed. The original amounts totalled P115.82 million and are subject to a fee of 0.75 per cent, 10 years grace period and 40 years repayment period. The balance outstanding amounts to P13.88 million and is paid semi-annually.

Nordic Investment Bank is owed five loans with the original loan amounts totaling P910.66 million. The loans are subject to a fee of 0.75 and are paid on a semi-annual basis. Grace period ranges between five and 10 years while repayment period ranges between 10 years and 30 years. The debt outstanding amounts to P423.12 million.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is owed four loans with the original loan amounts totalling P768.26 million. One loan is subject to an interest rate for six months LIBOR plus 0.40 per cent. The other three loans are subject to interest rates ranging between 3.75 to 5.2 per cent. All loans have five years grace period and 15 years repayment period. The balance still outstanding amounts to P168.34 million.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development is owed one loan with an original loan amount of P24.79 million. The loan is subject to an interest of six months LIBOR plus 0.40 per cent, five years grace period and 15 years repayment period. Payments are made on a semi-annual basis. The balance outstanding amounts to P5.62 million.

Matambo was responding to an inquiry by Dithapelo Keorapetse Legislator for Selibe Phikwe West, who had wanted to establish on the names of International Financial Institutions (including regional financial institutions) owed; how much each institution is owed, including the original loan amount, interests charged, outstanding balance to be paid and the terms of payment; and  the purpose for which each loan was acquired and update on progress of the same.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.