$60 Billion in Aid Set for Africa from China

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President Xi Jinping greets Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (right) while South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma looks on during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit in Johannesburg on Friday. [Photo/Agencies] President Xi Jinping has announced assistance and loans totaling $60 billion for Africa to help the continent address its top three difficulties: infrastructure, talent and funding.
At the opening ceremony on Friday of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit, Xi said the funding plan was announced to ensure that China rolls out 10 concrete plans for cooperation in the next three years to help boost African development.
“China has decided to provide a total of $60 billion of funding support. It includes $5 billion in grants and zero-interest loans and $35 billion in loans of a concessional nature with more favorable terms and an export credit line,” Xi said.
Also included are an increase of $5 billion each to the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs, and an initial contribution of $10 billion to the China-Africa Fund for Production Capacity Cooperation.
The 10 proposed cooperation plans cover the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure, poverty reduction and people-to-people exchanges.
Among the key proposals are the development of 200 poverty eradication projects in African villages, construction of an African disease control center, upgrading of local hospitals in Africa and establishment of five transportation universities.
“These plans aim at addressing three bottleneck issues holding back Africa’s development, namely inadequate infrastructure, lack of professional and skilled personnel and a funding shortage,” Xi said.
The Johannesburg meeting is the second summit of the 15-year-old FOCAC, which groups China, 50 African countries that have established diplomatic ties with China and the Commission of the African Union.
In the past 15 years, China-Africa trade has increased by 22 times, and China’s nonfinancial investment has surged sixtyfold.
In his speech, Xi said Africa’s rapid development momentum is “irresistible”, as African countries accelerate industrialization and seek independent and sustainable development.
Among the 10 plans that were announced, Xi put the China-Africa industrialization plan first, saying that China will boost industrial links and collaboration on production capacity.
“China will build or upgrade a number of industrial parks in cooperation with Africa and send senior government experts and advisers to Africa,” he said.
Liu Hongwu, director of the School of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, said that the summit and Xi’s proposals are helping China-Africa cooperation “better link to Africa’s own pursuits for development, its own planning and mechanisms”. Liu added that the independence and global reach of Africa will be reinforced.
Xinhua and AFP contributed to this story.

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