Africa, China in R14bn trade deals

Francois Bougon

China and Africa signed trade deals worth R14bllion yesterday that saw the Asian giant deepen its economic and political ties with the resource-rich continent.

The leaders of China and 48 African nations wrapped up their two-day meeting with a joint declaration announcing a new strategic partnership based on "political equality and mutual trust, economic win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges".

"We declare that the development of our friendly relations and cooperation are in accordance with the five principles of peaceful coexistence," Chinese President Hu Jintao said.

The declaration and an "action plan" over the next three years came after deals between China and 10 African nations were announced.

By far the biggest deal was one involving the building of an aluminium plant in Egypt worth R6,8 billion.

Other deals included a R2,1billion contract for Chinese firms to upgrade a highway in Nigeria, develop a copper mine in Zambia and set up a textile business in Sudan.

South Africa, Kenya, Cape Verde and Ghana also signed deals with China. - Sapa-AFP