China’s recently appointed President Xi Jinping ended his six-day tour of Africa in the Republic of Congo, on Friday.
Xi has been traveling across the continent outlining his African policy “as a partnership among equals” sending a clear message to African leaders that a strengthened mutual reliance between China and Africa would be beneficial to their respective future successes.
The Chinese president’s African tour – which included a stop in South Africa for the fifth annual BRICS summit – seemed to be the next step in determining how China’s US$20 billion investment would be distributed strategically across the continent over the next three years. In July 2012, former president Hu Jintao proposed the investment to help African countries develop infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and small-and-medium-sized enterprises.
In the Republic of Congo, Xi signed off on nearly a dozen new infrastructure deals in an effort to strengthen relations and economic ties with a country China already imports oil from.
According to reports, China will be financing a US$63 million river port project in Oyo, where the Congo government plans on developing a new economic zone. Other projects Xi has finalised include a new 19-megawatt hydroelectric power station as well as a new port in Congo’s economic capital, Pointe-Noire, which will be able to handle the anticipated increase of mineral ore shipments.
Xi said China would also be investing in grants and zero-interest loans to contribute toward the building of 200 homes and a school in Mpila.