(Reuters) - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao offered Africa $10 billion in concessional loans over the next three years, saying on Sunday that China was a “true and trusted friend” of the continent and its people.
The aid offer is double that unveiled by President Hu Jintao at the last summit in Beijing in 2006, as China aims to boost a relationship which politically goes back decades and is now economically booming, to the discomfort of some in the West.
Details of China’s offer are as follows:
* China will give $10 billion in concessional loans to Africa to build up financing capacity, and will support Chinese financial institutions in setting up a $1 billion fund for loans to small- and medium-sized African companies. China will also cancel more African debt.
* China will phase in zero-tariff treatment for 95 percent of products from the least developed African countries with whom it has diplomatic ties. It will start with 60 percent of products at zero-tariff from next year.
* China and Africa establish a partnership to respond to climate change, and will build 100 clean energy projects in Africa including solar power, biogas and small-scale hydro-power.
* China, to boost African food security, will send 50 agriculture technology teams to Africa and train 2,000 agricultural technology personnel for Africa.
* China will provide 500 million yuan in medical equipment and anti-malarial materials to 30 hospitals and 30 malaria treatment centers in Africa, and will train 3,000 doctors and nurses.
* China will build 50 schools and train 1,500 teachers for Africa. By 2012, China will increase the number of scholarships available to African students to 5,500.
* China and Africa will enhance science and technology cooperation, and China will host 100 African postdoctoral fellows to conduct scientific research in China.
* China will expand cultural exchanges with Africa.
Writing by Ben Blanchard and Cynthia Johnston