China announces $60 billion ‘funding support’ for Africa
Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $60 billion of assistance and loans for Africa at a summit in Johannesburg on Friday, signalling China’s commitment to the continent despite a recent fall in investment.
China’s economic growth has taken a dip this year, triggering a global commodities slump and forcing Beijing to slash investment in Africa by more than 40 percent in the first six months of 2015.
Xi said that China has decided “to provide a total of $60 billion of funding support that includes $5 billion of grants in zero interest loans (and) $35 billion in preferential facility and export credit loans and concessional loans.”
In a slew of pledges at his speech opening the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), he also announced drought aid for the continent.
“China is greatly concerned about the poor harvest caused by El Nino in many African countries and will provide one billion renminbi yuan ($156 million) worth of emergency food aid to the affected countries,” he said.
The two-day FOCAC meeting is the second time China has brought together African leaders since the forum was launched in Beijing in 2000.
Since then, China’s trade with Africa has overtaken that of the traditional partners of Europe and the United States.