Project ID: 30497

China Eximbank provides $10 million loan for Phase 1 of National Telecommunication Coverage Project (Linked to Project ID#57477, #60219, #57529, #57531, and #68940)

Commitment amount

$ 11741235.579258451

Adjusted commitment amount

$ 11741235.58

Constant 2021 USD


Funding agency [Type]

Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) [State-owned Policy Bank]


Congo (Brazzaville)


Communications (Code: 220)

Flow type


Level of public liability

Central government debt





Development (The next section lists the possible statuses.)





Financial Flow Classification

ODA-like (The next section lists the possible statuses.)

Official Development Assistance

Other Official Flows

Vague (Official Finance)

Flows categorized based on OECD-DAC guidelines

Project lifecycle


Completion (The next section lists the possible statuses.)










Actual start




On June 19, 2006, China Eximbank and the Republic of Congo signed a $1.6 billion loan framework agreement — also known in the Republic of Congo as the “strategic partnership” (“partenariat stratégique”) — that allowed the Republic of Congo to obtain China Eximbank loans for infrastructure projects through a securitization mechanism: Société Nationales des Pétroles Congolais (SNPC)—the country’s state-owned oil company—agreed to deposit a portion of the cash proceeds from its oil exports into an escrow account that is controlled by China Eximbank. This framework agreement (captured in Project ID#60219) was ratified on October 26, 2006. Two of the subsidiary loans that were approved through the framework agreement included a $70 million loan in 2008 (captured in Project ID#57477) and a $10 million loan in 2012 (captured in Project ID#30497) for Phase 1 of the National Telecommunication Coverage Project. The $10 million loan agreement was signed on September 9, 2012 and it went into force on December 10, 2012. The estimated borrowing terms for these two loans are as follows: a 0.25% interest rate, a 20-year maturity, and a 5-year grace period. The proceeds from these two loans were to be used by the borrower to partially finance a $100 million commercial contract for Phase 1. Then, in 2017, China Eximbank and the Republic of Congo signed a $62,646,626.90 loan agreement (captured in Project ID#57529) for Phase 2 of the National Telecommunication Coverage Project. This loan has a maturity length of 17 years, but its interest rate and grace period are unknown. The proceeds from this loan was to be used for the borrower to finance 85% of the cost of a $73 million commercial contract for Phase 2. Phases 1 and 2 involved the construction of a fiber optic cable (“backbone”) network (measuring more than 3000 km in length) that connects the cities of Pointe-Noire, Makoua, Dolisie, Brazzaville, Oyo and Ouesso (through an underground fibre optic cable runs between Pointe-Noire and Ouesso and between Makoua and Ouesso and through an overhead cable that piggybacks on the National Electricity Company’s EHV electricity transmission lines linked to the Moukoukoulou and Imboulou hydroelectric dams); the construction of several additional fiber optic cable segments (“branches”) that connect to the backbone (a 130 km segment from Ngo to Djambala, a 70 km segment from Loudima to Sibiti, and an 80 km segment from Oyo to Boundji); and the construction of fiber optic cable loops around the cities of Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, Oyo, and all of the country’s departmental capitals (measuring 700 km in length). Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell Co., Ltd., Huawei, and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) were the contractors responsible for the implementation of Phases 1 and 2. The project officially commenced in August 2010. In January 2013, the project achieved provisional acceptance of one segment of the fiber optic cable (“backbone”) network between Pointe-Noire and Brazzaville (measuring more than 510 km in length). As of February 2014, it had nearly completed another segment of the backbone: from Brazzaville to Owando (510 km in length) and then onward to city of Ouesso. Phases 1 and 2 were eventually completed, but their precise completion dates are unknown.

Additional details

1. The Chinese project title is 全国通信骨干网一期项目 or 刚果(布)备用光缆骨干网项目 or 刚果(布)全国电信覆盖网项目. The French project title is Projet de Couverture Nationale en Télécommunication-Projet Phase I. 2. In the database of Chinese loan commitments that SAIS-CARI released in July 2020, it does not identify any of the China Eximbank loans that supported Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the National Telecommunication Coverage Project. According to a 2019 report published by the Republic of Congo’s National Assembly, all loans approved under the June 19, 2006 framework agreement had an interest rate of 0.25%, maturities between 13 years and 20 years, and grace periods between 3 and 5 years. Therefore, since the actual maturities and grace periods of the two loans that supported Phase 1 of the National Telecommunication Coverage Project are unknown, AidData imputes a maturity value of 16.5 years (the middle of the distribution of the maturity range) as an approximation and a grace period value of 4 years (the middle of the grace period distribution) as an approximation. 3. China Eximbank also issued a preferential buyer’s credit and a government concessional loan in support of Phase 3 of the National Telecommunication Coverage Project (captured in Project ID#57531 and #68940).

Number of official sources


Number of total sources


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Direct receiving agencies [Type]

Government of Republic of Congo [Government Agency]

Implementing agencies [Type]

China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) [State-owned Company]

Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell Co., Ltd. [State-owned Company]

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. [Private Sector]


This loan was collateralized against cash proceeds from SNPC oil sales to Chinese firms, which were deposited in a China Eximbank-controlled escrow account. The Republic of Congo was required to maintain a minimum cash balance in the escrow account equivalent to approximately 20% of its total outstanding debt to China Eximbank. The cash balance in the China Eximbank-controlled escrow account was $338 million in 2017 and $266,659,781 in 2020.

Loan Details


17 years

Interest rate


Grace period

4 years

Grant element (OECD Grant-Equiv)


Bilateral loan

Investment project loan