Zim set to ben­e­fit from $60bn China pledge

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

ZIM­BABWE is set to ben­e­fit from the $60 billion that China pledged to in­vest in Africa over the next three years, an en­voy said last Thurs­day.

Bei­jing promised $60 billion in loans and grants to Africa over the next three years at the sixth Fo­rum on China-Africa Co­op­er­a­tion (Fo­cac) held in South Africa in De­cem­ber last year.

At the sum­mit, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping also un­veiled a ten-point eco­nomic plan for Africa, to be fi­nanced by the multi-billion dol­lar three-year fi­nanc­ing fa­cil­ity, which Bei­jing hopes will as­sist Africa ad­vance its am­bi­tious Agenda 2063 devel­op­ment blue­print.

The ten-point plan in­cludes fi­nan­cial sup­port for, among other things, in­dus­trial, agri­cul­tural and in­fras­truc­tural devel­op­ment in Africa.

Agenda 2063 en­vi­sions large scale in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion across Africa an­chored on value ad­di­tion and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion of Africa’s vast nat­u­ral re­sources.

Chi­nese am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Huang Ping said ef­forts were be­ing made to en­sure that Zim­babwe ben­e­fited from the money pledged at Fo­cac while at the same time ben­e­fit­ing from the mega deals that the two coun­tries signed in 2014.

“Lots of things will come here, both the mega deals and the Fo­cac deals but I am not go­ing to say now, you will see,” Am­bas­sador Huang told jour­nal­ists af­ter meet­ing In­for­ma­tion Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy and Courier Ser­vices min­is­ter Supa Mandi­wanzira.

“As China is a good friend, I think Zim­babwe de­serves a fair share of this money (that was pledged at Fo­cac).”

But, Am­bas­sador Huang em­pha­sised that only bank­able projects would be funded.

“This Fo­cac money we can get a fair share, but those monies are not a gift. Each coun­try needs to come up with projects to ap­ply for this money and those projects must be prac­ti­cal so we can carry out this im­ple­men­ta­tion,” he said.

Macro-Eco­nomic Plan­ning and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Min­is­ter Obert Mpofu was in Bei­jing re­cently where he at­tended co­or­di­nat­ing meet­ings of var­i­ous projects be­ing un­der­taken by the Chi­nese in Africa in­clud­ing the ones to be funded un­der Fo­cac.

Bei­jing has stepped up its eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion with Harare and re­cently agreed to fund 12 in­vest­ment projects run­ning into bil­lions of dol­lars cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent sec­tors of the Zim­bab­wean econ­omy.

The deals in­clude fi­nanc­ing for the ex­pan­sion of Hwange Power Sta­tion, con­struc­tion of a new Par­lia­ment build­ing and a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ware­house, ex­pan­sion of a na­tional fi­bre op­tic broad­band project and pro­vi­sion of wildlife mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment.

Zim­babwe and China also agreed to co­op­er­ate in the avi­a­tion sec­tor as well as in pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment. — New Ziana

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