China has cancelled Sierra Leone’s $22 million debt. This was announced by the visiting Chinese vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun.
The Sierra Leone Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura signed the debt relief agreement late Tuesday.
Zhai, who arrived Tuesday, held talks with President Ernest Bai Koroma and ex-SLPP leader Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
The Chinese vice Foreign Minister pledged his government’s continuous support to the development of Sierra Leone.
“We are ready to work with the government of Sierra Leone to achieve new progress in the desire to enhance Sino-Sierra Leone solidarity,” he added.
In June the Paris Club of Western creditor nations agreed to cancel 218 million dollars of the entire remaining debt of Sierra Leone, equivalent to 91 percent of the country’s debt stock by end of 2006.
Sierra Leone is the world’s second most impoverished nation sitting in 176th place on the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index for 2006.
China has in recent years embarked on infrastructural construction works in Sierra Leone among them a sports stadium, a giant hotel and conference complex.