China Eximbank provides RMB 1.025 billion government concessional loan for Victoria Falls Airport Renovation and Expansion Project
Constant 2017 USD
Funding agency [Type]
Export-Import Bank of China [State-owned Policy Bank]
Transport and storage (Code: 210)
On 5 April, 2012, China Eximbank signed an RMB 1,025,000,000 billion government concessional loan (GCL) agreement with the Government of Zimbabwe for the Victoria Falls Airport Renovation and Expansion Project (See: 2019 Blue Book Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure). The GCL carried the following terms: 20 year maturity, 5 year grace period, 2% interest rate, 0.5% management fee, and 0.5% commitment fee (See: SENATE HANSARD - 8 AUGUST 2012 VOL. 21 NO. 46). To facilitate loan repayment, the GCL agreement specifies that the borrower must deposit the proceeds from the revenue generated by Victoria Falls Airport and the passenger service charges generated from Harare Airport in an escrow account held by China Eximbank. This project involved an extension of an existing runway, the construction of a second 4,000 meter long runway, the construction of a 20,000 square meter new terminal, and the construction of a parking lot (See: China loans $162m towards refurbishing Zimbabwe airport). Upon completion, it was expected that Victoria Falls International Airport would be able to handle 1.2 million passengers a year and accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts such as 747s (See: China loans $162m towards refurbishing Zimbabwe airport).China Jiangsu International was the contractor responsible for implementation, and its work was overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (See: Victoria Falls Airport renovations underway). On 12 April, 2013, construction began. The project was expected to take 30 months to complete. The project was completed and officially handed over to the Zimbabwean authorities on 18 November, 2016 (See: The Export-Import Bank loan brings Africa's first waterfall closer to the world). The Chinese project title is 维多利亚瀑布市机场改扩建 or 的维多利亚瀑布机场扩建项目 (See: The Export-Import Bank loan brings Africa's first waterfall closer to the world).Other agreements signed between 5-6 April, 2012 included a 31.5 million RMB agreement for provision of an outside broadcasting van for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (see Project ID#30639), an ETCA worth RMB 80 million (see Project ID#30260), and a grant worth 4.5 million RMB for neonatal equipment (see Project ID#30638).
Some sources characterize the face value of the China Eximbank loan as $162 million. AidData relies on the RMB 1,025,000,000 face value that is recorded by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in its 2019 Blue Book Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. AidData records the maturity length this is reported in the 2019 Blue Book Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure and the grace period that was presented to Zimbabwe’s Parliament prior to loan ratification. In the database of Chinese loan commitments that it released in July 2020, SAIS-CARI does not identify the maturity length or grace period of this loan.
Number of official sources
Number of unofficial sources
Receiving agencies [Type]
Government of Zimbabwe [Government Agency]
Implementing agencies [Type]
China Jiangsu International Economic and Technical Cooperation Company [State-owned Company]
The GCL was collateralized by making the borrower deposit the proceeds from the revenue generated by Victoria Falls Airport and the passenger service charges generated from Harare Airport in an escrow account held by China Eximbank.