China offers US$20 billion in loans to Africa

hu guineaChina has offered US$20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years

The loans will support infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and development of small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.

The amount offered is double the sum China had pledged for the previous three-year period in 2009. It is also the latest in a string of aid and credit provided to Africa’s poorest nations.

The pledge is likely to boost China’s relations with Africa, a supplier of oil and raw materials such as copper and uranium to Beijing.

Chinese President Hu Jintao said, “China wholeheartedly and sincerely supports African countries in their development path.”

Hu also pledged to “continue to expand aid to Africa, so that the benefits of development can be realised by the African people”.

South African trade and industry minister Rob Davies told Reuters, “We need to move into more value addition to ensure progress. We need to export mineral products in a more processed form and such economic aids from China will help us in our endeavours.”

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