Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has asked China for a two-year moratorium on debt repayments, state media reported on Thursday, as Africa’s second largest oil exporter seeks to shore up public finances hit by lower crude prices.
Beijing has issued oil-backed loans to Angola since 2003, a year after it emerged from a 27-year civil war. Those debts now amount to more than $20 billion.
According to reports, the President actually asked that China give it new credit lines and extend existing ones. China buys about half of Angola’s oil and as such a critical trading partner to the East Africn country and third largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Angola, like Nigeria has had to deal with revenue crisis as the fall in oil prices is beginning to take its toll on its economy.