China supports Africa jointly building Belt and Road

Xi Jinping to showcase BRI at China-Africa summit in Beijing

Xi Jinping to showcase BRI at China-Africa summit in Beijing

Leader of Majority Aden Duale, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe led senior government officials in seeing off the President.

China's President Xi Jinping has offered $60bn in financial support to African countries and written off debt for poorer African nations.

According to the government, Zimbabwe will require about 11 000 megawatts of electricity to achieve its vision of becoming a middle-income country by 2030 and hence the huge demand for power presents vast opportunities for China to further invest in Zimbabwe's energy sector.

South Africa's department of Trade and Industry and China's National Development and Reform Commission also pledged to cooperate on global investment promotion for the African country's special economic zones and industrial parks, including a 4,600 MW coal-fired plant, a cement plant and other metallurgical projects.

A more well-known name would be Huajian, a Chinese shoemaker that produces for brands like GUESS and Calvin Klein. China's investments in Africa have also grown significantly.

The vision of the China-Africa relations is anchored on a desire for a shared future where all nations can prosper through cooperation and mutually beneficial partnerships.

"It will encourage the development of Africa's infrastructure, a critical requirement for meaningful regional and continental integration".

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The forum brings together 53 African countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the African Union Commission and China to make 55 members and Zimbabwe belongs to the grouping.

Dozens of African leaders met with Xi ahead of the conference.

"I also hope you will do more in staff training and bettering lives for the local people and will put more emphasis on the environment and resources", Xi said.

"This means that China is likely to even get a larger share of Kenya's market once we enter into a free trade arrangement", Mr Kiptoo said, explaining Nairobi's opposition of the deal.

Analysts said China's pledges highlighted Africa's growing importance to Beijing as its trade war with Washington escalated.

Speaking to a gathering of African leaders in Beijing, Xi said the figure includes $15 billion in grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, $20 billion in credit lines, $10 billion for "development financing" and $5 billion to buy imports from Africa. Morocco and Tunisia have already eased visa restrictions. Last year, 628,000 African tourists visited China, 4.4 per cent more than 2016, while over a million Chinese travelled to Africa. He noted that Tunisia expects to receive 30,000 to 35,000 Chinese tourists this year.

Addressing leaders in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Mr Xi said the $60bn would be made up of both aid and loans.

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