Ramaphosa says Chinese aid is not 'new colonialism'

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The offer of more funds comes after a pledge of a similar amount at the previous Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in South Africa three years ago. "Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any vanity projects, but in places where they count the most", Xi said.

According to data from John Hopkins University's China Africa Research Initiative, China has already loaned around $125 billion to the continent between 2000 and 2016.

Speaking to businesspeople ahead of a conference with dozens of African leaders, Xi said the "Belt and Road" initiative will expand markets.

Before the formal opening of the summit, Buhari in his capacity as the ECOWAS chairman will deliver remarks at a meeting between Chinese and African leaders, business representatives and African entrepreneurs.

Just in late August, Chinese mining firm Nonferrous China Africa launched production work for its greenfield project in Chambishi town in Zambia's Copperbelt Province, which was hailed by Zambian President Edgar Lungu as an example of serious investment.

Focac will bring together 52 African countries, the African Union (AU) Commission and the People's Republic of China, as equal partners in fostering greater unity and cooperation.

The government and the Bank of China have entered into a trade agreement that will see the Chinese making investments to the tune of $1.1-billion (R15-billion) in special economic zones and industrial parks in South Africa.

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"In terms of cooperation with China, African countries know best", widely read tabloid the Global Times wrote in an editorial on Monday.

The number of Chinese tourists to Africa is rapidly growing as African countries are trying to attract more visitors from China.

Every African country is represented at the business forum apart from eSwatini, self-ruled Taiwan's last African ally that has so far rejected China's overtures to ditch Taipei and recognize Beijing.

The relationship between China and Africa is based on more than just trade: it is a partnership aligned to Africa's development goals, as contained in the AU's Agenda 2063 and the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

President Kenyatta's discussions are also expected to advance Kenya's shift away from pure debt financing with new emphasis being placed on Private Public Partnerships and the need to explore innovative off-balance sheet financing for the country's infrastructure needs. "We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries", he said during a visit to Beijing. Aside from Mauritius, no other African country has an Free Trade Agreement with China.

African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry Albert Muchanga will take stock of the infrastructure development, industrialisation and peace and development programmes, and agree on the priorities for the coming years.

China also says it will wipe clean the debt for certain African countries when interest-free loans come due later this year. It also showed China's shift in focus from energy and mineral imports from the continent.

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