Uganda to borrow $150 million from China’s Exim after World Bank halts funding

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Uganda is preparing to borrow $150 million from China’s Export Import Bank (Exim) to help expand its internet infrastructure, the finance ministry on Monday.

The move underscores the East African country’s increasing reliance for credit on Chinese lenders after the World Bank halted all new lending to Uganda earlier this year in protest at a new anti-homosexuality law.

A junior finance minister and the minister for information asked lawmakers on Monday to authorise the debt, the finance ministry wrote on X, the social media platform.

The money, the ministry said, is “to finance the supply, installation, commissioning and support of the national data transmission backbone infrastructure.”

Uganda is in negotiations with Chinese export credit agency SINOSURE and Exim Bank for a loan to finance the construction of a pipeline to help Uganda export its crude oil to international markets.

The World Bank, traditionally Uganda’s biggest development lender, halted loans to Uganda after President Yoweri Museveni signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act which hands out tough sentences including death for a range homosexual activities.

(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Hereward Holland, William Maclean)