JOHANNESBURG—China’s President Xi on Friday pledged $60 billion in financing for development across Africa, aiming to reaffirm his commitment to the continent even as slowing growth in the world’s second-biggest economy stokes economic turmoil here.
Mr. Xi told dozens of African leaders gathered at a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg that the funds would be invested in 10 projects over three years.
“These plans are aimed at addressing three issues holding back Africa’s development,” Mr. Xi said, to warm applause from the presidents and prime ministers of Africa’s biggest economies. “Namely inadequate infrastructure…professional and skilled personnel, and funding.”
The pledges represent nearly a doubling of the $30 billion that China promised over a three-year period from 2012, said Kai Xue, a Beijing-based lawyer who advises Chinese businesses operating in Africa.
China’s broader trade relationship with Africa has grown even more rapidly, to $222 billion last year, a record that made China the continent’s top trade partner for the sixth straight year. Many African countries have as a result forged deep diplomatic ties with Beijing, and spoken admiringly of that authoritarian model of economic development.
“It’s clear from China’s experience that it is indeed possible to modernize and develop rapidly,” said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the African Union commission and a potential successor to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, her ex-husband.
NEO Web Desk