China Offers African Nations $60 Billion in Development with 'No Strings Attached'

03 September, 2018, 23:43 | Author: Gerard Cortez
  • Bitter Sweet

Xi said the financing would be in the form of government help as well as investment and funding by institutions and companies.

The president says the relationship between China and Africa is premised on the fundamental right of the African people to determine their own future.

President Xi Jinping of China has reaffirmed his country's commitment to follow the path of win-win partnership cooperation with African countries adding that Africa's development has great potential and the continent is full of hope.

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.

The massive Belt and Road scheme is aimed at improving Chinese access to foreign markets and resources, and boosting Beijing's influence overseas.

"China's investment in Africa comes with no political strings attached, " Xi said. China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (147 million US dollars) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.

Among the eight verticals flagged on Monday, President Xi highlighted China's intent to set up additional economic and trade cooperation zones to promote industrialisation in Africa.

"China-Africa cooperation must give Chinese and African people tangible benefits and successes that can be seen, that can be felt", Xi said. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most".

"Western media deliberately portray Africans in misery for collaborating with China and they appear to have discovered big news by finding occasional complaints in the African media about Sino-Africa cooperation".

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

"We now want to scale up and strengthen the Forum to maximise mutual benefits", Kagame said.

Uhuru attending a High Level Business forum during FOCAC 2018 Summit
Uhuru attending a High Level Business forum during FOCAC 2018 Summit

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.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, current chairman of the African Union, also rallied behind China's involvement in Africa. Last year, China-Africa trade volume was $170 billion.

He announced another financial support of $60b to the African continent for various sectors emphasising the need to help the youth whom he described as the future of a blossoming relationship between China and Africa.

During the meeting, President Buhari had said he was not afraid of a free and fair election in 2019.

Take Sri Lanka, which last year had no choice but to grant China a 99-year lease for a Belt and Road Initiative port, after it failed to attract enough business to make its loan payments.

China has been Africa's top trading partner for nine consecutive years. "What we value is the sharing of development experience and the support we can offer to Africa's national rejuvenation and prosperity", Xi said.

Ramaphosa urged China to focus more on the nature of and quality of its investments in Africa and not just natural resources.

He added that, "FOCAC was first established in 2000 as a mechanism for collective dialogue and multilateral cooperation between China and Africa".

While relations between China and African nations are broadly positive, concerns have intensified about the impact of some of China's deals in the region.

Africa is growing in strategic importance for China, with the People's Liberation Army opening its first overseas naval base in Djibouti past year. 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.

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