China Pledges $10 Billion to African Nations

The New York Times reports on the Forum on African-China Cooperation currently underway in Egypt: Prime Minister Wen Jiabao pledged to grant African countries $10 billion in low-interest development loans over the next three years, establish a $1 billion loan program for small and medium-size businesses, and forgive the remaining debt on certain interest-free loans that China has granted less-developed African nations in the past. Mr. Wen made the pledge in an address to the Forum on African-China Cooperation, held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh. The $10 billion in new loans is double the amount China pledged at the last meeting in 2006. The debt forgiveness continues a series of annual loan cancellations that also extends to 2006. Mr. Wen told officials of the 49 African nations in attendance that this year’s session “represents a new stage of development in relations with Africa.” See also “FACTBOX: China’s promises to Africa” from Reuters. And “China gives loans to Ethiopia’s first expressway” from Xinhua. Watch also a report from Al Jazeera “China bets big on Guinea’s bauxite”:
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