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 meeting will be chaired by Xi Jinping, President of China.

African leaders are going to Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) Summit, hoping to get financing for their mega infrastructure projects.

The exemption, he said, will be granted to Africa's least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China.

Xi said during the next three years and beyond, China would carry out eight major initiatives with African countries.

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.

She praised China's spectacular growth into the world's second largest economy, valued at approximately $14trn.

Adesina in the statement said the President will be accompanied to Beijing by his wife, Aisha, to participate in a Spouses' Programme on China-Africa at the Great Hall of the People, under the theme, "Joining Hands for a Future of AIDS".

China's growing presence on the continent - particularly with its massive "Belt and Road Initiative" - has raised concerns that many African nations might struggle to repay the Chinese debt used to build expensive infrastructure projects, allowing China to take control of strategic assets.

People-to-people cooperation is taking on a new look.

"China's cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development".

The summit, scheduled for September 3-4, aims to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future, further dovetail China's Belt and Road Initiative with African development, set a new path for a higher level of China-Africa cooperation, and deepen people-to-people exchanges.

"Long-term, sustainable China-Africa development depends on the young people of both sides", Liu said.

The commitment comes on top of another US$60 billion announced at the summit three years ago.

Jeremy Stevens, global economist for the Standard Bank Group, said many felt it would not be "politically appropriate" to pledge huge loans given concern that Africa is becoming overloaded with Chinese debt.

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

Xi said the plan, for which Beijing has pledged $126 billion, would help provide more resources and facilities for Africa and would expand shared markets.

Data shows that China-Africa trade amounted to $170 billion in 2017, a 14.1 per cent increase upon the 2016 figures. That has provided lucrative opportunities for Chinese businesses, while African nations are often happy to accept China's offers that come without demands for safeguards against corruption, waste and environmental damage.

Sun Baohong, Chinese ambassador to Kenya, said late August that China has become one of the most favorable destinations for Kenyan students.

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