Monday, August 31, 2009

The China-Africa Development Fund

China has been putting more and more money into Africa, in projects ranging from infrastructure improvements to profit businesses. That has caused some concern in the West, as some fear it will limit their interests in the continent.

One project that the Chinese government set up is a China-Africa Development Fund which has 5 billion dollars in the bank to fund joint businesses. An article that we found in All Africa explains some of the work the fund does and some frustration in finding good projects due to lack of infrastructure.

From this Business Day story, writer Hopewell Radebetells tells us more about the fund.

The fund established offices for the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) in Johannesburg in March . Since its establishment in June 2007, the fund has facilitated more than 20 investments in Africa, amounting to nearly 400m .

The fund was established by President Hu Jin tao after the 2006 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation.

Wang says the fund is speaking to the embassies and trade officials of African states represented in China to encourage them to take the information to their respective countries.

The fund is finding it increasingly challenging to fund infrastructure programmes in most African states because of the lack of essential facilities, including sound telecommunications systems, says Wang.

"We find that they (prospective business partners) expect countries to have basic technology and sufficiently operational ports, airport and roads ...unfortunately these facilities are not necessarily available in some countries on the continent," he says.

Liu Xiaolei, the fund's Sadc head , says it is looking at supporting major regional infrastructure ventures such as the envisaged electricity transmission lines between SA and Mozambique, SA and Zambia, as well as Zambia and Botswana and Namibia and Zimbabwe.

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