China is not Africa’s new colonial power - Ramaphosa

03 September, 2018, 19:30 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a business breakfast in Beijing with business leaders

Adesina in the statement said the President will be accompanied to Beijing by his wife, Aisha, to participate in a Spouses' Programme on China-Africa at the Great Hall of the People, under the theme, "Joining Hands for a Future of AIDS".

"China will extend $60 billion of financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies".

Debt from China's interest-free loans, due by the end of 2018, would be written off for some poor African states, Mr Xi said.

The massive scheme is aimed at improving Chinese access to foreign markets and resources, and boosting Beijing's influence overseas.

It's exactly the same amount Beijing pledged at the previous Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2015, and is in line with analysts' expectations that Xi would not vastly increase the amount of Chinese money flowing into Africa.

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Chris Kiptoo, Principal Secretary for International Trade, said China already accounts for 25 per cent of Kenya's import bill under the current common external tariff structure of zero per cent, 10 per cent and 25 per cent for raw materials, intermediate goods and final goods respectively.

Mr Xi admitted there was a need to look at the commercial viability of some projects and make co-operation more viable.

In terms of the agreement between the Bank of China and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)‚ one of the biggest commercial banks in China has committed to pumping money into the development of special economic zones in South Africa.

Dozens of African leaders met with Xi ahead of the conference.

Meanwhile the exiled leader of the opposition in the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, has said China's actions in the Indian Ocean archipelago amounted to a "land grab" and "colonialism", with 80 per cent of its debt held by Beijing. He insisted that China will not impose its will on Africa despite a huge investment program. Deeply indebted Pakistan is also reportedly reconsidering some projects in the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that is a key link in the BRI.

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Yesterday the ministers adopted a declaration between Africa and China to undertake the Belt and Road Initiative in developing communication corridors, blue ocean economy and telecommunication and movement of trade.

According to the government, Zimbabwe will require about 11 000 megawatts of electricity to achieve its vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2030 and hence the huge demand for power presents vast opportunities for China to further invest in Zimbabwe's energy sector. "We are exporting to China what we extract from the earth".

China has become a major investment partner for South Africa in stimulating economic and social transformation and development.

Fourteen sub-forums and side events, covering various people-centered areas, will take place before and after the summit.

Locals in other countries have complained about the practice of using Chinese labor for building projects and what are perceived as sweetheart deals for Chinese companies.

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