China meeting its African colonies

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

President Uhuru Kenyatta left the country on Friday night for Beijing, China where he is scheduled to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which runs from September 1-5.

"China's cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development".

Abiy said China is a reliable friend in the course of Ethiopia's development, and China's precious assistance has always been crucial to his country's economic restructuring and achievements.

The meeting will be chaired by Xi Jinping, President of China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered another $60 billion in financing for Africa on Monday and wrote off some debt for poorer African nations, while warning against funds going toward "vanity projects".

Africa includes some of China's largest suppliers of oil and other commodities and the tiny East African nation of Djibouti hosts its first overseas military base.

Sisulu identified rising nationalistic ethos, populism, unilateralism, protectionism and the emergence of global trade wars among the current challenges that representatives of all 54 states gathering for Forum on China-Africa Cooperation had to confront during the two-day summit that would end on Tuesday.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, now the chair of the African Union, said talks of "debt traps" were attempts to discourage African-Chinese interactions.

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"For three years, cooperation between China and Africa has deepened and political mutual trust promoted", said Li Dan.

"The fundamental goal of China-Africa cooperation is building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future".

"Established 18 years ago, FOCAC has led worldwide cooperation with Africa and has become a significant marker of South-South cooperation", said Li Dan, director of Africa Studies Center of China Foreign Affairs University. China defends continued lending to Africa on the grounds that the continent still needs debt-funded infrastructure development.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari will oversee the signing of a telecommunications deal backed by a $328-million loan facility from China's Exim bank during his visit, his office said.

Data shows that China-Africa trade amounted to $170 billion in 2017, a 14.1 per cent increase upon the 2016 figures.

Xi told business leaders Chinese firms in Africa had to be aware of their social responsibilities and make sure their investments served the community and improved their wellbeing. Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe officials have for some time been negotiating for a loan from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and the Export-Import Bank of China, but a breakthrough has been slow in coming because the Chinese remain anxious about Harare's ability to repay loans.

Nevertheless, he received a warm greeting from Xi, who told him he "welcomes Sudan's participation in the Belt and Road" and "opposes foreign interference in Sudan's internal affairs", Xinhua reported on Sunday.

Since its inception 18 years ago, the FOCAC has held two summits to date, with the most recent taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa from December 3 - 4, 2015.

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