China Plans Big for Africa
-US$ Suxty Billion Chinese Aid to be used for:
-Assistance to African Gov’ts, Investment, Financial Institutions and Companies
-Says President Xi
The President of the People’s Republic of China has told African leaders attending the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that his country will extend US$60 billion of financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies.
He said this will include US$15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, US$20 billion of credit lines, the setting up of a US$10 billion special fund for development financing and a US$5 billion special fund for financing imports from Africa.“We encourage Chinese companies to make at least US$10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years. In addition, for those of Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted,” said President Xi.
The funding is intended to ensure that eight development initiatives that Chinese has planned to undertake in Africa as part of strengthening bilateral relations with countries on the continent are successful.
“China will build an even closer China-Africa community where there is a shared future in the new era,” he said.
Delivering a speech Monday on day-one of the two-day summit, President Xi noted that China will, on the basis of the ten cooperation plans already adopted, launch the “eight major initiatives” in close collaboration with African countries in the next three years and beyond.
He named those venture as the industrial promotion initiative whereby he we encourage Chinese companies to increase investment in Africa, and will build and upgrade a number of economic and trade cooperation zones on the continent; the infrastructure connectivity initiative through which China will support Chinese companies in participating in Africa’s infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models, with focus on enhancing cooperation on energy, transport, information, telecommunications and cross-border water resources.
Other cooperation models that, he said, the Asian nation will exploit are the trade facilitation initiative which intends to support African countries in participating in the China International Import-Export; and the green development initiative through which China has decided to undertake 50 projects for green development and ecological and environmental protection in Africa to expand exchanges and cooperation with Africa on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.
Moreover, President Xi spoke of capacity-building initiative expanding that China will share more of its development practices with Africa and support cooperation with Africa on economic and social development planning.
Regarding his country’s partnership with Africa’s healthcare delivery, the Chinese leader indicated that his nation has decided to upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, particularly flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.
“We will launch a people-to-people exchange initiative. China decided to establish an institute of African studies to enhance exchanges with Africa on civilization. The China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Plan will be upgraded,” said Xi.
He added: “We will launch a peace and security initiative. China decided to set up a China-Africa peace and security fund to boost our cooperation on peace, security, peacekeeping, and law and order. China will continue to provide military aid to the AU, and will support countries in the Sahel region and those bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea in upholding security and combating terrorism in their regions.”
Meanwhile the Chinese leader further noted that the future of China-Africa relations lies in the young people.
He said many of the measures in the eight initiatives are designed to help young people in Africa.
These measures will provide young Africans with more training and job opportunities and open up more space for their development.