China to provide $60b agric fund for Nigeria and other African countries

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[China]–The government of China through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC, between 2016 and 2018 will provide $60 billion of funding support for Nigeria and other African countries to boost agriculture and food security.

Also another$40 billion pool fund made available for interested countries and firms in the continent, through the Maritime/Silk Road Fund.

Senior Research Professor, Zhang Yong-Peng of the institute of West Asia and African Studies (WAAS) in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), disclosed this at a lecture for a delegation of Nigerian journalists on the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ in Beijing, China

According to Vanguard,  the expert in International Politics, also disclosed that already, the Chinese government has established/built 25 Agricultural Techonological Demonstration Centres (ATDC’s) in Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt and Rwanda, stating that, “With the FOCAC, Nigerian companies should come out and bid for the loans and make use of it for development.”

He also expressed the need for the Nigerian government to engage in international development process and the economic take should be focus on industrialization, trade and investment.

“China is committed to promoting Africa economic take off and Nigeria, as the major African power is expected to build its own ability and come out with workable plans to meet the purpose of the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims at integrating Africa in international development process, as well as accelerating its development strategy 2030, 2063 vision,” he said.

While urging African governments to be active in making use of the support capital and utilise these opportunities, he explained how Nigeria, as a country can benefit from the $40 billion pool fund, under the Silk Road Fund.

He said, “The pool is not distributed by making a plan. You apply as a country, as a local government or as a company, stating the amount of capital needed and back it up with a business plan and how much is needed as well as the time frame for the project. It will be evaluated, whether it is feasible or not. If approved, you get financial support.”

He further explained a breakdown of the $60 billion funding support, saying that, “$5 billion is for free aid and interest-free loans; $35 billion of preferential loans and export credit on more favorable terms.

And $5 billion of additional capital for the China Africa Development Fund and special loan for the development of African SMEs each and $10 billion (initial capital) of China-Africa Production Capacity Cooperation Fund.”

In another development, Guardian reported that Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has announced at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, that, from May 14 to 15, 2017, the Belt and Road Forum, which is geared towards international cooperation will be hosted by China in Beijing.

The Belt and Road Initiative which covers over 100 countries, aims to discuss ways to boost cooperation, build cooperation platforms and share cooperation outcomes with the cooperation instruments including trade, investment and cultural exchanges.

 




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