21 July 2012

Africa: China Pledges U.S.$20 Billion for Africa

Beijing — Chinese president Hu Jintao on Thursday pledged a US$20 billion loan facility for Africa. The Chinese leader announced the package during the opening ceremony of the Focac. The US$20 billion credit is intended to help African countries in areas such as infrastructure development, agriculture, manufacturing and small to medium enterprises.

Speaking on better co-operation in the Sino-Africa relations, President Hu said the forging of the China-Africa strategic partnership had "inaugurated a new historical process . . . and added new momentum to China-Africa exchanges and co-operation."

President Hu said the opening up of new prospects "for a new type of China-Africa strategic partnership and jointly built harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity is a shared goal".

The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (Focac) ended in Beijing yesterday with ministers adopting the Beijing Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan (2013-2015).

Both the declaration and the action plan form a framework for implementing a people-to-people co-operation between China and Africa.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi addressed the conference on Thursday, thanking China for standing by Zimbabwe against illegal sanctions imposed by the West.

"In 2008, China had to cast her veto in the United Nations Security Council to save Zimbabwe from destructive and crippling Chapter VII sanctions sponsored by Western countries," he said.

"I, therefore, take this opportunity to deplore the new era of unilateralism which has resulted in some countries ganging to impose their will on small and poor nations."

Minister Mumbengegwi commended China's "support for continental and regional integrations, as well as participation in UN peace-keeping missions in Africa".

He said Zimbabwe will continue to promote the One-China policy so that it receives universal acceptance.

The volume of trade and investment between Africa and China continues to grow, said Minister Mumbengegwi.

He said Zimbabwe was determined to seeing the Focac process being successful. South Africa assumed the co-chairing of Focac and the sixth forum will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2015.

South Africa's Foreign Minister Maite Mashabane assured both Africa and China that her country will "not have a separate agenda" from the one agreed on by all the leaders.

This position was endorsed by Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Yang Jiechi and Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Kamel.

Started in October 2000, Focac was set up to respond to changing world trends and expresses shared desires between traditional friends in seeking peace, co-operation, and development in a dynamic and changing world.

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