China Plans High-Speed Rail Network For African Capitals …Increase Credit Offer To $30 billion

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…18,000 scholarship for African students

The Chinese government has pledged to establish high-speed network that will connect all African capital cities across the continent.

Earlier, the Chinese government joined France, Britain and the US in pledging technical and intelligence support for Nigeria towards rescuing the abducted school girls by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The new offer for transportation infrastructure is meant to upgrade China-Africa strategic partnership to a new level in order to meet Africa’s new aspirations.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made the pledged in Abuja Thursday at the on-going World Economic Forum for Africa WEFA where he unfolded new plans for the continent.

Mr. Keqiang who is on a special visit to Nigeria, observed that transportation is an important foundation for economic take-off in developing countries, pointing out that China would be cooperating with Africa in the sector.

“We will promote connectivity in the continent through China-Africa transnational infrastructure cooperation. We will establish a High-speed rail network in Africa connecting all African capitals,” he said.

Speaking further, Keqiang promised that his country would cooperate with Africa to make the highway network possible.

“We will like to strengthen cooperation with Africa and promote the actualisation of these networks.
“The Chinese cooperation with African counties is sincere and open. We will share our advance, applicable and managerial expertise developed by China. We will share with Africa without reservation,” the Premier assured.

“China will strengthen cooperation with international organisations and relevant bodies and will under the principle of African consent, Africa needs and African participation, explore trilateral or multilateral cooperation in Africa.

“We will relocate some Chinese companies to Africa. The Chinese government means what it says,” he stressed.

The Chinese government also promised China-Africa regional aviation plan among others covering investments in other transport sub-sector across the continent; connecting capital cities in Africa for easy movement of goods and people.

He said that the Chinese government would continue to promote development on the African continent, adding that the efforts would help create jobs for unemployed youths on the continent.

China also pledged to increase its investment and financing in Africa with additional $10 billion dollars to the connected Chinese credit line to African countries to reach a total of $30 billion dollars.

Another $2 billion dollars, he said, will be added to the China-Africa Development Fund to push it up to a total of $5 billion dollars, adding that China would provide 18,000 government scholarships to Africa and would train 30,000 professionals of various types.

He said the rise of Africa as a new world power would make the world more democratic, stable, robust, diverse, colourful and more conducive to global peace development and progress.

Mr. Keqiang said the Chinese government, in cooperation with African countries, would through an aviation joint venture, provide civilian feeder jets, train aviation professionals and build supporting facilities needed for the sector to thrive.

He observed that the continent lacks airport, air routes, especially regional operating capacity, stating that his country has huge experience and capacity in the construction and management of airports.

“We will promote the regional aviation industry in Africa. China will provide financing technical and human resources support.”

“China is also looking to expound investments in Africa in the rail, power, telecommunication sectors and human capacity development. it will also assist in the agriculture sector to improve food security in the continent.

He said the foundation for the economic take-off are six projects which focus on industrial cooperation, financial cooperation, poverty reduction, environmental cooperation, people to people exchanges and a cooperation of peace and security.