China's President Xi pledges another $60 billion for Africa
03 September, 2018, 21:28 | Author: Corey Lynch
The offer of more funds comes after a pledge of a similar amount at the previous Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa three years ago.
Beijing has refuted claims of using "debt trap" diplomacy to gain influence in African markets and secure privileged access to resources in the continent.
"It's hard to think of any country in Africa that has not been touched by China", he said, adding that China rejects the claim of "debt-trap diplomacy".
President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the Chinese government's multi-billion-rand investments in Africa, saying the country is not trying to re-colonise countries on the continent. Text the word "NEWS" to 22840. This year's edition is themed "China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation". The initiative involves hundreds of projects, majority built by Chinese contractors and financed by loans from Chinese state-owned banks, across an arc of 65 countries from the South Pacific through Asia to Africa and the Middle East.
On green development, Xi said China will undertake 50 aid projects on green development, and ecological and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.
Xi, however, stressed, that Belt and Road "is not a scheme to form an exclusive club or bloc against others".
Chinese officials say this year's summit will strengthen Africa's role in Xi's Belt and Road initiative to link China by sea and land with Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa through an infrastructure network modeled on the old Silk Road.
China is willing to work with Africa to dovetail its Belt and Road Initiative with the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, as well as the development strategies of individual African countries to explore new opportunities and inject new impetus for Africa's development, Wang said.
But a study by the Centre for Global Development, a USA think-tank, found "serious concerns" about the sustainability of the sovereign debt in eight countries receiving Silk Road funds.
During a visit to Beijing in August, Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said his country would shelve three China-backed projects, including a $20bn railway plan. China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (147 million USA dollars) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.
Nations across Africa are hoping that China's enthusiasm for infrastructure investment will help promote industrialization on the continent.
Also, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Water Resource Suleiman Adamu, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu and Minister of State, Aviation Hadi Sirika, are in China for the summit.
Focac will bring together 52 African countries, the African Union (AU) Commission and the People's Republic of China, as equal partners in fostering greater unity and cooperation.
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