China is strengthening its relations with Africa as Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged a $ 60 billion funding, another round of support to the African continent, on Friday, December 4, 2015.
China and South Africa has a special relationship as shown by China’s choice of the latter as host of the China-Africa summit. President Xi’s support and South African President Jacob Zuma underscores strong ties manifested by this funding pledge to Africa’s development.
Contrary to analysts predictions of a slow and declining investment because of the slowing down of China’ economic growth, President Xi’s announcement revealed the opposite. The funding package is a 100% increase or has doubled the 2012 support of $30 billion worth of development funding assistance.
China is committed to the development of Africa. The $ 60 billion package support will poured out to 10 development projects over the next three years. This will focus on the development of key areas in agriculture, renewable energy, skills training, health, peace and security and infrastructure development.
In detail, the funding package covers a “$5 billion of free aid and interest-free loans, $35 billion of preferential loans and export credit, $5 billion additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African SMEs, and $10 billion of funding for a China-Africa production capacity cooperation.”
During the very recent Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Chinese President Xi Jinping in his speech, put into words the pledge as he said “China strongly believes that Africa belongs to the African people and that African affairs should be handled by the African people,” he said.
Although China has been criticized by antagonists and detractors both in and out of the continent “for bringing in Chinese state-owned firms and Chinese workers to complete projects”, but China remained true to its commitment of supporting Africa.
In his speech, President Xi that China and Africa were “comrades in arms in the quest for liberation and freedom, at the height of colonialism and apartheid.” He further said, “it was only natural that Africa has developed a win-win partnership for development and progress with China over the years.”
China has been Africa’s largest trade partner for six years in a row, and the relationship has topped $222 billion last year.
China and African relations has become stronger through the years. According to President Xi, “China-Africa relations have today reached a stage of growth unmatched in history.” Thus, the Chinese president encouraged the African people to work closely with China in opening up a “new era”, where both China and the African continent can engage in a “win-win cooperation” for the common development and greater good of its people.
China spends billions in Africa on trade, investments in mining, in infrastructure and even in development grants-in-aid. In South Africa alone, which is China’s most close ally, the President declared a $6.5 billion investment.
China has become the world’s second-largest economy in recent years. Its rapid climb to an economic giant requires an enormous amount of energy and raw materials. Africa is the region that has the resources that could meet China’s requirement. Over the years, China’s investment had helped Africa in many areas of development and more is coming with the recent pledge of support.