China will be providing $60 billion over the next three years to fund development in Africa despite a recent fall in investment.
This assurance came from President Xi Jinping while addressing African presidents at the two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Johannesburg on Friday.
Xi said the $60 billion of funding support includes $5 billion of grants in zero interest loans and $35 billion in preferential facility and export credit loans and concessional loans.
He outlined a broad ten-point development plan based on a relationship of equals.
Although China’s economic growth has taken a dip this year, Xi said Beijing will step up investment in factories manufacturing goods for export in Africa, in addition to building roads, ports and railways.
It will also cancel existing debts with zero interest loans for least developed countries that mature by end 2015.
He also announced drought aid for the continent.
“China is greatly concerned about the poor harvest caused by El Nino in many African countries and will provide one billion renminbi yuan ($156 million) worth of emergency food aid to the affected countries,” he said.
China will strengthen its cooperation with Africa in the fight against violent extremism and would not interfere with the political choices of countries in the continent, Xi said.
Africans broadly see China as a healthy counterbalance to Western influence though Western governments charge China of turning a blind eye to conflicts and rights abuses on the continent as they pursue trade and aid policies there.