India will help finance construction of a new parliament building in Eswatini in southern Africa with the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) extending a line of credit (LoC) of more than $100 million.
New Delhi will also finance a new parliament building in Burundi’s national capital Gitega and some infrastructure in Bujumbura, the country’s largest city and main port with an LoC of $161.36 million.
The line of credit agreement for the parliament of Eswatini—a landlocked country with Mozambique and South Africa as neighbours and previously known as Swaziland—was signed last week between the general manager of Exim Bank, Nirmit Ved, and the finance minister of Eswatini, Neal H. Rijkenberg, an Indian government official said on Monday.
This brings the total number of LoCs extended to Eswatini to four worth $176.58 million, the official said. Previous credit lines were used to build a software park and for agricultural development.
A total of 211 LoCs totalling $12.85 billion have been extended to African countries to support infrastructure projects, according to the Exim Bank. “India’s approach to development is human-centric and is marked by respect, diversity, care for the future and sustainable development,” according to a note on India’s foreign ministry website.
Unstated is the subtle distinction drawn vis-a -vis China whose infrastructure projects under the Belt and Road Initiative are seen as saddling countries with debt besides being environmentally unsustainable.
New Delhi also says the projects that it takes up for implementation are those chosen by African countries themselves.
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