China pledges $20bn in credit for Africa

Loans will support infrastructure, agriculture and development of small businesses in African countries.

    China pledges $20bn in credit for Africa
    China has announced doubling the amount of credit to African countries at the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation [Reuters]

    China has pledged $20bn in credit to Africa over the next three years and called for more China-Africa co-ordination in international affairs to defend against the "bullying" of richer powers.

    Hu Jintao, China's president, made the announcement on Thursday at a summit in Beijing with leaders from 50 African nations.

    The credit line is double the amount offered in 2009 at the last forum held in Egypt.

    China's top five trading partners in Africa

     Angola - $24.8bn

     South Africa - $22.2bn

     Sudan - $8.6bn

     Nigeria - $7.8bn

     Egypt - $7.0bn

    Source: China Customs Data, Frontier Advisory Analysis

    "We want to continue to enhance our traditional friendship... rule out external interference and enhance mutual understanding and trust," the Chinese president said.

    Hu said the loans would support infrastructure, agriculture and the development of small businesses.

    The Chinese leader also called for better co-operation with African countries on international affairs, and promised more Chinese help for African countries in building agricultural technology centres, training medical and other personnel, and digging wells to expand access to clean water.

    "We should oppose the practices of the big bullying the small the strong domineering over the weak and the rich oppressing the poor," Hu said.

    China will encourage investment and assistance in infrastructure that facilitates trade within Africa, he said.

    China has emerged as Africa's main trading partner and a major source of investment for infrastructure, pouring billions of dollars into roads and developing the energy sector across the continent.

    Strong ties

    Trade between the two sides hit a record $166bn last year, a three-fold increase since 2006.

    In his remarks, Hu stressed China's status as a still-developing nation and noted Africa is the region with the world's largest number of developing countries. He said both should jointly work to defend their interests in global forums such as the United Nations.

    Some observers see Chinese investment in Africa as an unequal partnership between an emerging economic giant and the world's poorest continent and accuse Beijing of offering no-strings-attached investment for repressive regimes.

    The Asian giant has been criticised for ignoring environmental issues and labour disputes in Africa.

    The Chinese president pledged that his country would pay more attention to environmental protection and cultural issues in its dealings with the continent.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months