China will extend a total of US$60 billion of financing to Africa, President Xi Jinping announced yesterday.
The financing will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies, Xi said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
The financing includes US$15 billion of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, US$20 billion of credit lines, the setting up of a US$10 billion special fund for development financing and a US$5 billion special fund for financing imports from Africa. Chinese companies are also encouraged to make at least US$10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years.
China has honored its 2015 promise to provide Africa with funding support totaling US$60 billion, Xi said, adding that the financing has been either delivered or arranged.
China decided to provide the funding support at the FOCAC Johannesburg summit to ensure implementation of 10 China-Africa cooperation plans adopted at that summit.
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, Xi said.
The exemption will be granted to Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China, Xi said.
He said China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years.
A China-Africa economic and trade expo will be set up in China. China will carry out 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (US$147 million) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.
China will work with the African Union to formulate a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan. It will increase imports from Africa and support African countries in participating in China International Import Expo. The least developed African countries will be exempted from paying exhibition booth fees, he said.
China will undertake 50 aid projects on green development. It will set up 10 Luban Workshops in Africa to offer vocational training for young Africans, train 1,000 high-caliber Africans, provide Africa with 50,000 government scholarships, sponsor seminar and workshop opportunities for 50,000 Africans, and invite 2,000 African youths to visit China for exchanges.
China will upgrade 50 medical and health aid programs for Africa, with a focus on flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.
China will set up an institute of African studies. It welcomes Africa’s participation in the Silk Road International League of Theaters, the Silk Road International Museum Alliance and the Network of Silk Road Art Festivals.
The country will set up a China-Africa peace and security fund, and continue providing free military aid to the African Union. (Xinhua)