Kagame backs new China-Africa development framework
President Paul Kagame has backed the Africa-China development framework announced on Monday by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Kagame was speaking on Tuesday at a roundtable discussion organised as part of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Kagame said that the summit’s declaration on closer cooperation and the Beijing Action Plan capture the key issues and provide an ideal roadmap for the way forward.
“Both the Summit Declaration and the Beijing Action Plan capture the key issues and provide a roadmap for next steps. Rwanda supports the adoption of these texts and strongly endorses the vision of a community with a shared future,” the President said.
He said that aspects of the development framework will bring the two partners closer and lead to the achievement of common and individual goals.
“Of particular importance is that the Beijing Action Plan is intended to boost Africa and China’s existing development frameworks. The Forum’s expanded cooperation areas will surely bring us closer to our goals,” Kagame, who is also the Chair of the African Union, said.
Under the framework, China will extend $60b of financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies.
The financing includes $15b of grants, interest free loans and concessional loans, $20b in credit lines and $10b earmarked as development financing. A further $5b will serve as a special fund for financing imports from Africa.
The development framework, among other things, will encourage Chinese firms to make investments of at least $10b in the African continent in the next three year.
The President said that increased private sector investment in the continent in key sectors of production will further drive growth in Africa.
“Higher levels of long-term, private sector-led investment in key sectors of production in Africa is essential. The concrete targets offered by President Xi Jinping in this domain are very much welcome and appreciated,” he said.
He called on parties to focus on implementation as well as continuous engagement.
“Our focus now should be implementation. This will require continuous engagement and attention from leaders at the highest level in between Summits,” Kagame said.
The President noted that the concern by the two parties to improve aspects such as peace, security, fair trade and mutual cooperation is key to spur growth.
“In today’s global political climate it is even more important to reaffirm our commitment to an open international order characterised by peace, security, multilateralism, free trade, mutual respect and cooperation where everyone benefits,” he said.
African Heads of State and Government who attended the roundtable chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping all affirmed commitment to the partnership.
The summit also saw Senegalese President Macky Sall take over co-chairmanship of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation from South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Following the roundtable, President Kagame held bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping.
Later in the day, President Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame were hosted to a bilateral dinner by President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan.