China announces $60 billion ‘no-strings attached’ investment towards projects in Africa

China announces $60 billion ‘no-strings attached’ investment towards projects in Africa

China announces $60 billion ‘no-strings attached’ investment towards projects in Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari has landed in Beijing, China for the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Rwanda is also angling to start financing discussions for the Isaka to Kigali stretch of the line from Tanzania.

Xi also announced that China would waive the debt of the poorest African countries that have diplomatic ties with Beijing.

He adds that this was not the only reason why the trip has been a success and why Ramaphosa is in China.

But critics say that, with many of its infrastructure projects, China is luring needy countries into "debt traps".

Ramphosa's speech, which followed his co-chairperson Chinese president Xi Jinping's pledge of an additional $60bn investment into Africa over the next three years, appeared to hit the right notes, carrying the theme that win-win cooperation was ideal and necessary.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation brings together leaders from China and more than 50 African countries.

China has been a strong development partner, playing a significant role in recent milestones achieved by Kenya.

With all these developments, Africa Beyond Aid crusader Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, maintains that "Africa is not a zero sum game".

China has denied engaging in "debt trap" diplomacy but Xi is likely to use the gathering of African leaders to offer a new round of financing, following a pledge of $60 billion at the previous summit in South Africa three years ago.

The goal of the 2018 FOCAC meeting is the promotion of economic and trade cooperation between China and African economies.

Among the eight verticals flagged on Monday, President Xi highlighted China's intent to set up additional economic and trade cooperation zones to promote industrialisation in Africa.

African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga will take stock of the infrastructure development, industrialisation and peace and development programmes, and agree on the priorities for the coming years.

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.

"In terms of cooperation with China, African countries know best", widely read tabloid the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Monday. A total of 50 security help programmes would be implemented, ranging from United Nations peacekeeping missions to fighting piracy, he said.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, has said that Nigeria and China have completed arrangements to sign 328 million dollars agreement on the National Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase 11 (NICTIB 11).

The package outlined by Xi also includes medical aid, environmental protection, agricultural training and assistance, and government scholarships and vocational training for more than 100,000 young Africans.

"Much of what is exported from Africa is raw materials and primary product". "In West Africa, there has already been state-led efforts to boost soybean production". Once signed, the deal would be the first of its kind between China and an African country.

China will host more than 1,000 African representatives from over 600 enterprises, business groups, and research institutions at an upcoming conference of Chinese and African entrepreneurs.

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