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China Announces $60Bn Economic Programmes For Africa

The President of China, Xi Jinping on Monday disclosed that his country would be implementing some major programmes valued at about $60 billion in Africa as a strategic option of strengthening China-Africa socioeconomic relations over the next few years.

Xi made the disclosure in his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, listed the areas as, industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, green development, capacity building, health care, peace and security, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

The Chinese President explained that as part of China’s industrial promotion in Africa, said that a China-Africa economic and trade expo would be set up in China and Chinese companies will be encouraged to increase investment in Africa.

Specifically, he hinted that China would carry out 50 agricultural assistance programmes, provide emergency humanitarian food aid amounting to 1 billion yuan (about $147 million) to African countries affected by natural disasters, and send 500 senior agricultural experts to Africa.

Xi explained further that China will work with the African Union to formulate a China-Africa infrastructure cooperation plan and support Chinese companies in taking part in Africa’s infrastructure development by way of investment-construction-operation or through other models to strengthen infrastructure connectivity between China and African countries

In addition, the Chinese leader said that China would also increase imports, especially non-resource products, from Africa and support African countries in participating in China International Import Expo as part of his country’s efforts to facilitate trade between China and Africa.

This is even as he hinted that the least developed African countries would be exempted from paying exhibition stand fees at the international expo.

On green development, Xi said that his country would undertake 50 aid projects on green development, and ecological and environmental protection, with a focus on climate change, ocean, desertification prevention and control, and wildlife protection.

Similarly, he promised that China would set up 10 Luban Workshops in Africa to offer vocational training for young Africans, train 1,000 high-calibre 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 under the government’s capacity building programmes.

Xi also assured that China under its healthcare programme would upgrade 50 medical and health aid programmes for Africa, with a focus on flagship projects such as the headquarters of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and China-Africa Friendship Hospitals.

On people-to-people exchanges, the Chinese President hinted that his country would set up an institute of African studies and enhance exchanges with Africa on civilization, saying that China 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.

On peace and security, Xi said that China would set up a China-Africa peace and security fund and continue providing free military aid to the African Union. A total of 50 security assistance programs will be carried out in the fields including UN peacekeeping missions, fighting piracy, and combating terrorism.

Scores of global leaders, including Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and delegates attended the opening ceremony of the High-level Dialogue Between Chinese and African Leaders and Business Representatives as well as the Sixth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs today in Beijing, China

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