Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

China to give Africa 10 billion dollars in loans: Wen

Sudan's Beshir thanks China for Darfur support
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (AFP) Nov 8, 2009 - Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, who is wanted for war crimes, on Sunday warmly thanked China for its diplomatic support over the conflict in Darfur. "We express our deep appreciation for China's efforts in backing the comprehensive peace agreement (between south and north) in Sudan and its peace efforts in Darfur," he said in a speech at a China-African summit in Egypt. "We thank China particularly for backing efforts by our countries to achieve peace and stability in Africa's zones of conflict," Beshir added. He also hailed the "sincere efforts" of Beijing to help African countries "especially in the field of education and the fight against serious diseases." The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Beshir on March 4, accusing him of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur, where the UN says 300,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in 2003. China as well as several African and Arab countries criticised the arrest warrant, despite which Beshir promptly received an invitation to visit Cairo from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

African Union implements sanctions against Guinea junta
Addis Ababa (AFP) Nov 7, 2009 - The African Union has implemented sanctions on Guinea's military rulers, AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra said Saturday. "Africa has implemented sanctions against several dozen people in Guinea who are opposing a return to constitutional order," he said at a press conference on the sidelines of a summit on the Madagascar crisis. "The list has been sent to AU member states, to the UN Security Council and to the European Union (EU) so that we can harmonize our positions and take appropriate measures," he added. Lamamra said that "the hand outstreched to Madagascar to help it return to constitutional order coincides with the implementation of sanctions on Guinea: on the same day Africa is expressing its resistance to anticonstitutional changes of government. Democracy must be promoted everywhere".

The sanctions include bans on travel and the freezing of assets held outside Guinea by the junta's leaders. They were imposed after junta troops on September 28 opened fire at a rally in a Conakry stadium where protestors were urging junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara not to stand in presidential elections planned for January. Camara now wants to stand in the elections, despite his earlier committment not to do so and despite demands from the international community that he should not run. At least 150 people died, the United Nations says. Human rights groups put the toll at 157 dead and more than 1,200 injured, including women who were publicly raped. The military regime has said that 56 people died and 934 were wounded. NGOs say that between 150 and 200 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded.

The United Nations has announced it will set up an inquiry into the massacre while the International Criminal Court said it will hold a separate preliminary inquiry to determine if war crimes were committed. Both the AU and the west African economic grouping ECOWAS have already suspended Guinea and both the United States and the EU have imposed sanctions on the junta. ECOWAS has also imposed an arms embargo. Camara seized power in the mineral-rich west African state on December 23 last year, just hours after the death of Guinea's long-serving ruler Lansana Conte, who was an autocratic army general.
by Staff Writers
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (AFP) Nov 8, 2009
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao pledged to give African countries 10 billion dollars in concessional loans as a two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opened in Egypt on Sunday.

"We will help Africa build up its financing capabilities... we will provide 10 billion US dollars for Africa in concessional loans," Wen told the forum in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

His pledge was included among measures he said would be taken over the next three years, including cancelling debts of African countries to increase his country's role in the continent.

The Asian giant pledged five billion dollars in assistance over three years at the last Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit, held in Beijing in 2006, and has signed agreements to relieve or cancel the debt of 31 African nations.

It will also provide a one-billion-dollar loan for "for small- and medium-sized businesses," Wen said.

"China is ready to deepen practical cooperation in Africa," he said, adding that Beijing was prepared to take on a role in "the settlement of issues of peace and security."

China will also remove tariffs on 95 percent of products "from the least-developed African states that have diplomatic relations with China," he said.

Wen added that China would set up environmental programmes in the continent, including 100 clean energy projects, and increase cultural exchanges and medical assistance.

Chinese firms have been pouring investments into oil and other raw materials in Africa to fuel the Asian country's booming economy.

Over the past five years, Chinese direct investment in Africa has soared, from 491 million dollars in 2003 to 7.8 billion dollars in 2008, according to official Chinese figures.

Total trade between China and Africa surpassed 100 billion dollars in 2008 -- a tenfold increase in eight years.

Booming trade ties have been accompanied by China also building schools, hospitals and clinics to fight malaria and offering scholarships for Africans to study in China.

But Beijing's growing economic role in the poverty-ridden continent has also been met with some scepticism and criticism.

China has been accused of throwing a lifeline to pariah regimes accused of human rights violations, such as the government of Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Beshir, who is at the summit, thanked China in a speech for its diplomatic role in Sudan, where a six-year conflict in the country's western Darfur region has killed 300,000 people, according to the United Nations.

"We express our deep appreciation for China's efforts in backing the comprehensive peace agreement (between south and north) in Sudan and its peace efforts in Darfur," he said.

"We thank China particularly for backing efforts by our countries to achieve peace and stability in Africa's zones of conflict," Beshir added.

On March 4 the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Beshir, accusing him of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

Chinese officials say they follow a policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of African countries, and deny that Chinese investments and loans come with strings attached.

"Africa is fully capable of solving its own problems, in an African way," Wen said in his speech.

"China has never attached any political strings... to assistance to Africa," he said, adding that trade is based on "win-win programmes... and transparency."

Some observers have criticised China for relying on its own expertise and labour in Africa, rather than training Africans.

Wen said China intended to improve scientific and technological cooperation with African states and give technical training to African students.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Nigeria banks on River Niger to boost commerce, navigation
Lokoja, Nigeria (AFP) Nov 8, 2009
After decades of delay and wrangling by resisting riverine communities, Nigeria has launched a multi-million-dollar dredging exercise to boost navigation and commerce on the Niger River. Plans are to deepen the river channel and stabilise its banks along a stretch of 572 kilometers (376 miles) as to allow passage of large vessels and open up inland ports. "The goal is to activate the nav ... read more

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2009 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement