Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Sunday, 8 November 2009

China pledges $10bn Africa loans

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attends the opening session of the fourth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (8 Nov 2009)
China has cultivated strong economic ties with Africa

China has pledged to give Africa $10bn (£6bn) in concessional loans over the next three years, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said at a summit in Egypt.

The Chinese leader is attending a two-day forum on China-Africa cooperation in Sharm el-Sheikh, attended by officials from 50 nations.

"We will help Africa build up financing capacity," Mr Wen told the summit.

Several heads of state and government are attending the meeting, including the Presidents of Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak inaugurated the forum, the fourth of its kind, and spoke of "peace, security and growth," and of "boosting cooperation between China and Africa."

Mr Wen also said China is planning to create environmental programmes for Africa, including 100 clean energy projects.


Young Africans increasingly see opportunities for success in China

The West has previously accused China of plundering Africa's natural resources - to fuel its booming economy - and of overlooking the human rights records of some governments they do business with.

In the run up to the summit, China's state owned Global Times newspaper wrote "The West is envious of China and Africa drawing closer," and quoted one Chinese Africa expert as saying "Europeans view Africa as their own backyard."

China pledged $5bn (£3bn) of assistance at the last cooperation summit in Beijing in 2006, and signed agreements to relieve or cancel the debt of more than 30 African countries.

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