Defend Truth

China seeks to wean Africa investors off soft loans

China's government is pushing Chinese investors in Africa to give up low-interest loans and adopt commercial lending practices, as Beijing shows less willingness to take on risk. Chinese projects in Africa have been funded by preferential loans from state-owned banks that support government policy objectives. But now private investors (some estimates say up to a million) have rushed into Africa in the last few years to take advantage of one of the biggest "gold rushes" in history. China has overtaken the US as the continent's biggest trading partner, and is building vast infrastructure projects across Africa in return for lucrative minerals concessions to feed its hungry economy. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao meets African leaders in Egypt this weekend, with investment and aid projects high on the agenda. News agency Reuters says China's direct investment in African roads, ports, railroads, apartment blocks, mines and oil pipelines, has risen 79% to $875-million in the first half of 2009, with total Chinese investment in Africa reaching $26-billion by the end of 2008. But trade with other emerging nations is also growing strongly. Brazil's annual trade with Africa soared from $3.1 billion in 2000 to $26.3 billion in 2008, outpaced only by China, where two-way annual trade has reached $107 billion.Read more: Mail and Guardian, Reuters


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options