As Buhari arrives Beijing, Nigeria and China signs $328m ICT deal

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Speaking to leaders from more than 30 African countries at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Xi said China's investment and engagement on the continent would continue, with no political strings attached to Beijing's investments in Africa.

It has already seen China loan billions of dollars to countries in Asia and Africa for roads, railways, ports and other major infrastructure projects.

Over the past 18 years, FOCAC has become a significant platform for collective dialogue between China and African countries and a leading mechanism for worldwide ties with Africa and also South-South cooperation.

Kenya is looking to complete the second last phase of the line and Uganda will be inking a deal for its first phase from Malaba to Kampala. The discussions will also cover financing for the Western Bypass in Nairobi.

He also said that China will exempt certain African countries from outstanding debts incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due by the end of 2018. The action plan focuses on issues of political, economic, cultural, media and worldwide cooperation among a host of others between China and Africa.

ZIMBABWE is working closely with China to support local exporting companies as part of measures to boost its foreign currency earnings, which will in turn stabilise the economy, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo has said. "We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries", he said during a visit to Beijing.

China has provided aid to Africa since the Cold War, but Beijing's presence in the region has grown exponentially with its emergence as a global trading power. He announced a $60 billion funding package to African countries, some of which is yet to be fully implemented.

As Chinese manufacturers move to making higher-value products, "the slack that is produced as a outcome can be taken up by African economies", according to Tshabalala.

According to State House, Uhuru will hold bilateral talks with Xi on a number of key issues including trade, investment and education. "No one should deny the significant achievement of China-Africa cooperation based on their assumptions and speculation".

Every African country is represented at the business forum apart from eSwatini, self-ruled Taiwan's last African ally that has so far rejected China's overtures to ditch Taipei and recognize Beijing.

However, this has failed.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with more African countries expressing their interest in joining the grand project. There is also a need to align the partnership with the AU's strategic objectives.

The huge endeavour brings much-needed infrastructure improvements to developing countries, while giving China destinations to unload its industrial overcapacity and facilities to stock up on raw materials. "It is expected that the Beijing summit will offer a more comprehensive plan that reflects the new situation".