Xi Jinping offers $60 bn Africa aid

Tuesday, 04 Sep, 2018

China is offering US$60 billion in financial support and a debt write-off to impoverished African nations- no strings attached, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday.

He furthered that Liberia supports China's hosting the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and is willing to make whatever contribution that would enhance friendship between the two countries and peoples.

Ahead of the presidential address, Chinese officials had cited a 2017 study by McKinsey, a US consulting firm, which had spotlighted that China has become Africa's most important and unrivalled economic partner.

The money would be focused on infrastructure to help speed African countries' development, not on "vanity projects", Xi said.

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

Mr. Xi said 50 China-Africa security assistance programmes will be launched under the flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Belt and Road has been criticized by many global analysts and leaders for its debt-heavy structures that unfairly burden the Asian, European, and African nations receiving its funds.

With all these developments, Africa Beyond Aid crusader Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, maintains that "Africa is not a zero sum game. Our growing ties with China do not come at anyone's expense", he told the summit.

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China's President Xi Jinping and more than 30 Chinese leaders have visited Africa and over 60 African heads of state and government been to China, which has established strategic partnership or comprehensive cooperative partnership with 24 African countries.

Xi said that future of cooperation should focus on young people and the initiatives that China would drive were created to help young people in Africa.

China defends continued lending to Africa on the grounds that the continent still needs debt-funded infrastructure development. The FOCAC follow-up mechanisms are built at the Ministerial Conference, which is held every three years; the Senior Officials Follow-up Meeting and the Senior Officials Preparatory Meeting for the Ministerial Conference are held respectively in the year and a few days before the Ministerial Conference is held; and the consultations between the African Diplomatic Corps in China and the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee are held at least twice a year.

Standard Bank represents the biggest Chinese investment in Africa to date, after state-owned Industrial and Commerce Bank of China Ltd. agreed in 2007 to buy 20 percent of the African lender for $5.5 billion.

"The rapid growth in Sino-African trade made China Africa's largest trading partner, he said". He said Xi has expressed his commitment to addressing the issue.

Xi also stressed that China will resolutely safeguard on open world economy and multilateral trade system while rejecting protectionism and unilateralism. This, he said, would help African countries in infrastructure planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance, particularly in the sectors of railways, roads, regional aviation, ports, electricity and telecommunications.

"We export to China what we extract from the earth and China imports to us what it makes from its factories", said Ramaphosa, describing uneven arrangement as limiting, given Africa's quest to extract full value from its natural resources. "No one should deny the significant achievement of China-Africa cooperation based on their assumptions and speculation". In an editorial, the paper said that the West just had "sour grapes" over China's good relations with Africa. Locals in other countries have complained about the practice of using Chinese labour for building projects and what are perceived as sweetheart deals for Chinese companies.