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  HOME | Business & Economy (Click here for more)

Xi Pledges $60 Billion for Africa in Opening Speech of FOCAC Summit

BEIJING – China’s President Xi Jinping announced on Monday funding worth $60 billion for Africa, which will be assigned through government aid and investment by financial institutions and companies in different areas of cooperation.

Xi announced the aid package during his opening speech at the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing, speaking before a number of heads of state from Africa and the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“With opened arms we welcome African countries aboard the express train of Chinese development,” Xi said in his speech, insisting that Chinese aid came without political strings attached and that Beijing did not make demands in return for its help.

Beijing had announced another $60 billion package in 2015 during the last edition of the FOCAC summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Xi added that pending debts of some African countries, in the form of interest-free Chinese loans, will be waived by the end of this year, although he did not specify the countries.

He said that the relief would be provided to underdeveloped poor and debt-ridden countries which maintain diplomatic ties with China.

The president said that the $60 billion package would include $15 billion of interest free loans, $20 billion in credit lines, $10 billion for financing development and $5 billion for boosting imports from Africa.

Chinese companies will be given incentives to invest at least $10 billion in Africa within the next three years, he said.

Xi highlighted the main areas of Africa-China cooperation during the next three years, which will be centered on industry, agriculture, infrastructure, trade and health.

Beijing will also back renewable energy and initiatives against climate change as well as the fight against terrorism in the continent, through military support to the African Union for peacekeeping missions.

“Africa’s development has great potential and the continent is full of hope,” Xi said, calling for open and inclusive cooperation with the continent.

 

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