9 March 2014

Africa: China-Africa

Beijing — China has affirmed its continued support to Africa with an assurance that its policy on the continent will not change due to changes in international and domestic financial situations.

"China's Africa policy is consistent. It will not change due to the changes in international and domestic financial situations in both China and Africa", the Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mr Lu Shaye has stated.

He gave the assurance at a meeting with a group of nine senior African journalists who are taking part in the China-Africa Media Programme under the auspices of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA).

The participants, selected from Ghana,Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia are to participate in training programmes and seminars to sharpen their understanding in China-Africa relations.

The Programme will also help them to understanding China by providing them with opportunity to live and get first-hand information about the country and its people.

Answering questions from the journalists, Mr Lu said China attached importance to its friendly and cooperative relationship with Africa and would continue to step up its cooperation with Africa in all fields of endeavour.

He cited the 2008 international financial crisis as an example and explained that China's assistance to Africa did Not change but instead continued to deliver its assistance.

In 2009, Mr Lu stated that China delivered its promise during the Fourth China-Africa Ministerial Conference held in Egypt to provide a 10 billion dollar concessional loans within three years to African countries under a packages called New Eight Measures.

Again in 2012 when the global economic situation was still within the shadow of the financial crisis and the Chinese economy was also confronted with economic slow down, China gave a promise during the Fifth China-Africa Ministerial Conference to provide assistance to Africa in five areas including the financial sector.

Mr Lu stated that by September last year, the Chinese government had already provided $10 billion out of the $20 billion it promised to provide as concessionary loans to Africa during the 2012 conference within three years.

"To step up the unity and cooperation with African countries has been the firm policy and strategic choice of China. Let me assure you, my African friends, China will always be Africa's reliable partner and friend", he declared.

On whether China is getting a fair deal in its relationship with Africa, Mr Lu contended that "China has benefitted a lot from our cooperation because our cooperation is for a win-win results".

He said while China had benefitted from Africa's natural resources, Africa had also benefitted a lot of things including infrastructure development, which was essential to its economic development.

Mr Lu added that the prices of Africa's resources had increased in the international market as a result of China's cooperation, which had provided funding to promote Africa's development.

He stated that the presence of of China in Africa had stimulated the interest of other major countries adding that before that such countries considered Africa as a continent of despair and hopelessness.

"But now with China's presence in Africa, these major countries have realised that Africa is a continent of limitless business opportunities. This is a promise land. So this us the meaning of Chins-Africa cooperation. It has created a multi win results".

Fact Sheet

The Director-General of the Department of African Affairs at the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affair, Mr Lu Shaye has affirmed China's continued assistance to African countries.

He said to step up the unity and cooperation with African counties had been the firm and strategic choice of China.

China's presence in Africa, according to him has stimulated the interest of other major countries who hitherto considered the Africa as a continent of despair and hopelessness.

Pull Quote

"China's Africa policy is consistent. It will not change due to the changes in international and domestic financial situations in both China and Africa".

CBD Loan to Ghana

The Chinese Government has expressed the hope that the Government of Ghana will be able to settle its differences with the China Development Bank (CBD) to enable it access the all the 3 billion dollar loan facility for its infrastructural development.

So far, Ghana has been able to access one billion cedis out of the 3billion dollar loan after signing four sub agreements with the CBD, according to the Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mr Lu Shaye.

Mr Lu told the Daily Graphic in Beijing on Thursday that the entire 3 billion loan facility was a framework which was signed between the two countries and Ghana needed to sign a number of sub-agreements to enable it access the entire amount.

He pointed out that the two countries needed to explore ways to ensure that the rest of the sub agreements were signed.

Mr Lu explained, however that the laws of Ghana required that the government should submit the sub agreements to Parliament for deliberation and approval before they were signed for the release of the amount.

"The staking point at the moment is that the government of Ghana is unwilling to submit the sub agreements to the Ghanaian Parliament for deliberation and approval", he stated.

Mr Lu said he was aware that the government and the CBD were currently involved in discussions to find a common ground to pave way for the access of the rest of the amount.

"I hope that the two parties will be able to settle their differences according to market reviews and through friendly cooperation so that we can achieve the good things anticipated in the master agreement", he said.

The loan agreement, according to Mr Lu, was purely an economic and business issue between the Ghana government and CBD and expressed the hope that problems associated with the access of the a rest of the amount would "be settled according to business practices, international norms and laws of Ghana".

Touching on the involvement of illegal mining activities by some Chinese nationals with the assistance of some Ghanaians, Mr Lu said the Chinese government was saddened by such activities which were degrading the environment.

He called on Ghana to effectively implement its laws on gold mining to prevent Ghanaian nationals from colluding with their Chinese counterparts to illegally engage in gold mining.

Mr Lu questioned why the government had not been able to fight illegal mining which had been going on over the year attributing that to what he called "ineffective implementation of laws regulating the mining sector".

He pledged the support of China in Ghana's quest to put a stop to illegal gold mining activities.

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