Eric LeCompte Quoted in Ghana Business News

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently quoted in Ghana Business News speaking on transparency. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Lack of transparency in Chinese lending will increase Africa’s debt burden

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

Speaking to ghanabusinessnews.com in a telephone interview, Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of religious, development and advocacy groups that works on debt, tax, trade and transparency policies that help end poverty, says Chinese lending lacks the level of transparency that other lending agreements have. This lack of transparency he says will “increase Africa’s debt burden.”

He points out that the situation is driven by the lack of what he calls “responsible lending rules in the international system.”

“China is benefiting from the lack of rules now,” he said.

LeCompte made reference to the period from 2001 to 2005, noting that during that period, growing lending led to debt forgiveness and “debt forgiveness led to economic growth in Africa, but lately the debt burden is growing. You have problems when countries cannot pay,” he said.

According to him, the Chinese are taking advantage of the debt situation to take natural resources from these countries.

“It is absolutely imperative that we find other means to finance African countries,” he added.

LeCompte called for laws to tackle tax avoidance and illicit financial flows from which African countries are losing billions of dollars.

“We need laws for responsible lending and borrowing. We need to look at new creative processes for debt relief. We need laws to curb tax evasion and global bankruptcy rules,” he said.

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