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China reserves $60 billion for Africa

Publishing Date : 11 September, 2018

Author : REARABILWE RAMAPHANE

Reports from Beijing China indicates that the world’s second largest economy has reserved US$60 billion (about P662 billion) for African investment in form of loans, grants & capital injection into mega developmental projects amongst others.


The announcement was made by President of the People’s Republic of China XI Jinping when officially opening the 2018 Forum on China –Africa Cooperation in Beijing China on this Monday where President Masisi was also in attendance. According to information from Beijing the funds will be channeled to projects aligned to the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative covering telecommunications, construction of roads, bridges and sea ports, energy, and human capacity development.


The money which will be spent in the next 3 years entails $15 billion being categorised as government grants, $15 billion (about P166 billion) as interest free loans and $20 billion (about P221 billion) of credit lines and USD 5 billion (about P55 billion) for financing imports from Africa. Chinese President remarked that, “China and Africa can forge a stronger comprehensive and strategic partnership. China promises to engage with Africa on a principle of sincerity and real results,” said President Xi Jinping.


He further added that, “China’s 1.3 billion people and Africa’s1.2 billion want a shared future,” China-Africa trade volume amounted to 170 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up from just over 10 billion dollars in 2000, according to data from China's ministry of commerce. President Jinping reiterated that that China will continue strengthening its engagement with Africa as it continues to pursue win-win partnerships with the continent. "China and Africa have forged closer ties since the last century. We have jointly successfully identified and implemented highly transformational projects on the continent," he said


According to President Jinping China invested a total of $170 billion in Africa in the last 3 years.He explained that the Road and Belt Initiative-the framework within which his country seeks to grow its trade and investments in Africa, China looks at building mutually beneficial relationships with African nations driven by a desire to achieve shared prosperity for the future good and wellbeing of mankind.


CHINA-BOTSWANA

In the context of prior to joining other African countries for the Forum, President Mokgweetsi Masisi led a delegation of cabinet ministers, business people and government investment agencies to his first state visit as President of Botswana. Accompanied by over 70 business people facilitated by Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC) President Masisi officiated at the China-Botswana Business Forum in which views were exchanged on how the two countries can work together in broadening and expanding current investment  collaborations and trade volume.


At the end of his three-day state visit to China before attending the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) President Masisi disclosed that China extended a grant amounting to P340 million to the government of Botswana. This adds onto the 136 million pula grant already extended to Government of Botswana announced last week for construction of Kazungula Primary School in the Chobe district.


The project entails teaching blocks, administrative building, dining hall, living quarters, for principal and teachers, gatehouse, equipment and auxiliary facilities China also announced a fortnight ago that it will write-off three of Botswana loans amounting to P80 million pula.
While in China Botswana delegation visited leading technology companies amongst mobile accessories maker Huawei.


Minister of Transport and Communication, Kitso Mokaila revealed last week that as china releases the 60 billion American dollars investment for African countries, Botswana is positioning itself for funding either in form of loan or grant for the construction of more rail networks as well advanced ICT infrastructure.


“ We are eying financing and technical support for mega infrastructure projects to aid our transformative agendas such as the development of  the coal industry , pertaining to that is the Mmamabula - Lephalale rail network  as well as major ICT infrastructure as  you know China is well advanced in that area” he said.

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