China to give $60 billion in financial support to Africa, Xi says

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

The real victor in these partnerships is China which has invited leaders of the entire continent to attend the two-day Forum for Africa-China Cooperation, FOCAC, in Beijing on September 3-4, 2018.

Xi promised at the Forum on China-African Cooperation (FOCAC) that "China's investment in Africa comes with no political strings attached".

He says cooperation between China and Africa has brought about many fruits.

The initiatives include infrastructure connectivity, green development, and health care, as well as peace and security.

The program is part of Xi's broader Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious $120-billion-plus project that aims to link 65 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa - together accounting for nearly two-thirds of the world's population - through infrastructure projects and trade.

A study by the Center for Global Development, a U.S. think-tank, found "serious concerns" about the sustainability of sovereign debt in eight Asian, European and African countries receiving Belt and Road funds.

South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa who was also the co-chairperson of the session, said FOCAC refutes the misconception by some quarters that it is a new form of colonialism in Africa, pointing out that the Forum is on the contrary beneficial to the people of China and Africa. "Our growing ties with China do not come at anyone's expense".

China will also expand its imports from Africa, especially for non-resources products, and will facilitate African financial institutions' bond issuances in China, Xi added.

He also said that China will exempt certain African countries from outstanding debts incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due by the end of 2018.

"The seven or so special economic zones set up by Chinese actors in Africa have encountered a number of difficulties.so there is much scope for growth", Anthony said. Last year, China-Africa trade volume was $170 billion.

For two days in a row, every headline on the front page of the state-run People's Daily started with the words "Xi Jinping..." as the president met with the leaders of countries from Angola and Gabon to Mauritius and Senegal.

China has provided aid to Africa since the Cold War, but Beijing's presence in the region has grown exponentially with its emergence as a global trading power.

Xi told African counterparts and business leaders Monday that China's investments on the continent have "no political strings attached", even as Beijing is increasingly criticised over its debt-heavy projects overseas.

Ramaphosa said Africa should "seek inward investment that encourages industrial development".

Speaking earlier at a business forum, Xi said China had to be careful about where money was spent.

State media has accused the West of sour grapes over China's prominent role in Africa and has angrily rejected claims of forcing African countries into a debt trap.

Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary for International Trade, said China already accounts for 25 per cent of Kenya's import bill under the current common external tariff structure of zero per cent, 10 per cent and 25 per cent for raw materials, intermediate goods and final goods respectively.

"Another perspective.is that those criticizing China on debt give too little", said Kagame in an interview with the official Xinhua news agency.

"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.

Locals in other countries have complained about the practice of using Chinese labor for building projects and what are perceived as sweetheart deals for Chinese companies.

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

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