Zim set to benefit from $60bn China pledge
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