Chinese President Xi Jinping has announced an extension of a fresh infrastructure financing, totaling $60 billion for African countries.
The financing is expected to be provided as government assistance to the region and investment by Chinese financial institutions and companies.
Delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), President Xi explained that
the financing includes $15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans.
The amount also include $20 billion of credit lines, setting up of a $10billion special fund for development financing and another $5billion as special fund for financing imports from Africa.
According President Xi, Chinese companies are also encouraged to make at least $10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years.
The Chinese President told the gathering of African leaders that with the announcement of the $60billion, his country has honoured its 2015 promise to the region.
He said that all of these have been either delivered or arranged, adding 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.
He said that the exemption 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.
President Xi who also said China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, noted that the initiatives, cover fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.
The decision of China to provide the funding support was take at the FOCAC summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Meanwhile, the Chinese President has explained that funds being invested in Africa were not for “vanity projects” but are meant to build infrastructure that can remove development bottlenecks.
President Xi Jinping at a business forum before the start of a triennial China-Africa summit told Chinese firms that they also had to respect local people and the environment where they operate.
He stressed that China’s investment in Africa will continue to flow without political strings attached.
“China does not interfere in Africa’s internal affairs and does not impose its own will on Africa. What we value is the sharing of development experience and the support we can offer to Africa’s national rejuvenation and prosperity.
“China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development. Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects but in places where they count the most,” President Xi said.
The Chinese President said firms from the country doing business in Africa must be aware of their social responsibilities and make sure their investments served the community and improved the wellbeing of the people.
President Xi continued that “I hope that our entrepreneurs will act to fulfil social responsibilities and respect local culture and tradition.
“I also hope you will do more in staff training and bettering lives for the local people and will put more emphasis on the environment and resources.”