Friday, 16 November, 2018

China's Xi pledges $60 billion in financing for Africa

Government officials bid farewell to President Uhuru Kenyatta at JKIA as he departs for Beijing on Friday Government officials bid farewell to President Uhuru Kenyatta at JKIA as he departs for Beijing on Friday
Jodi Jackson | 03 September, 2018, 19:29

China welcomes entrepreneurs worldwide, including those from Africa, to invest and develop in China and encourages Chinese entrepreneurs to explore and develop business in Africa, so as to jointly promote the Belt and Road, Xi said.

The commitment comes on top of another US$60 billion announced at the summit three years ago.

Xi also announced that China would waive the debt of the poorest African countries that have diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Cooperation between the Asian country and African countries will focus on industrial development, infrastructure, trade and investment, human resources development, science education, culture, health, environmental protection as well as peace and security.

It is a vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most", Xi said.

But Xi admitted there was a need to look at the commercial viability of projects and make sure preparations are made to lower investment risks and make cooperation "more sustainable".

China will carry out 50 projects on green development and environmental protection in Africa, focusing on fighting climate change, desertification and wildlife protection, the Chinese leader said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is due to attend it. Xi and Premier Li Keqiang were busy receiving African leaders and holding talks with them.

"The future of China-Africa relations is going to depend entirely on how China manages this debt situation, which is now spiraling out of control", he added. He insisted that China will not impose its will on Africa despite a huge investment program.

Yesterday the ministers adopted a declaration between Africa and China to undertake the Belt and Road Initiative in developing communication corridors, blue ocean economy and telecommunication and movement of trade.

President Kenyatta's discussions are also expected to advance Kenya's shift away from pure debt financing with new emphasis being placed on Private Public Partnerships and the need to explore innovative off-balance sheet financing for the country's infrastructure needs. China-Africa trade volume amounted to 170 billion US dollars in 2017, up from just over 10 billion dollars in 2000, according to data from China's Ministry of Commerce. "We are exporting to China what we extract from the earth".

The DTI also struck a deal with the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China (NDRC)‚ specifically targeted at a special economic zone to be developed in the Limpopo area of Musina-Makhado.

Through Focac, Africa was looking at China as a partner to achieve the goals set out in Agenda 2063.

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