The Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will cancel debt of some African countries incurred in the form Chinese government loans due by the end of 2018.
In his opening speech to the 7th summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) underway in Beijing that opened o Monday, Xi announced that the debt cancellation will be granted to Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked and small island developing countries.
In recent years China has provided low interest loans to many African countries including Ethiopia and Djibouti, which are struggling to payback on time. The president didn’t mentioned the names of African countries that benefit from the debt cancellation.
The Chinese government has been providing loans for major infrastructures in Africa ranging from power to roads and railways, among others.
Elaborating on building a stronger China-Africa community with a shared future, Xi said China and Africa strive to have a joint responsibility, pursue win-win cooperation and promote harmony between man and nature.
He also stressed on the need of increasing political dialogue and policy communication at various levels, enhancing mutual understanding and support on issues involving each other’s core interests and major concerns, and boosting coordination on major international and regional issues between Africa and China.
“The two sides should make the enhancing of people’s livelihoods the foundation of developing China-Africa relationship,” Xi said, adding that “China will do more to help Africa alleviate poverty, increase employment and income, and better the lives of its people.”
The president has announced eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond that China will implement, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.