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Chinese minister jets in next week to discuss aid to Kenya

By | January 1st 2010

By Morris Aron

Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi will tour the country next week in a move expected to determine what portion of the $10 billion (Sh740 billion) aid pledge to Africa will be apportioned to Kenya.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Deng Hongbo told a press conference yesterday that Mr Jiechi will arrive in the country in the first week of January and meet with President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and other senior Government officials to discuss the aid package.

"Top on the agenda of the visit include economic aid, bi-lateral trade issues and ways to further promote relationship between Kenya and China," said Mr Deng.

African Countries

At a summit to promote the level of co-operation between China and African countries held in Egypt recently, the Chinese Government unveiled a raft of goodies, including a promise to double the amount of loans to African countries to $10 billion over the next three years.

In addition, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that China will support Chinese financial institutions in setting up a $1 billion fund (Sh74 billion) for loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and cancel more debt. Mr Jiabao also proposed to phase in zero-tariff treatment for 95 per cent of products from the least developed African countries with whom China has diplomatic ties.

Climate Change

China will start with 60 per cent of products from African countries, at zero-tariff beginning next year.

In addition, China and Africa will establish a partnership to respond to climate change, by building 100 clean energy projects in Africa.

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