If the enthusiasm with which Africa is showing the new funding window opened to her by the People's Republic of China is translated into concrete execution of projects on the ground, the continent's socio-economic development could receive fresh impetus in the next three years.
Less than a year since China's President Xi Jinping announced a new Sino-African Cooperation plan with 60 billion US dollars earmarked for projects, African countries are currently scrambling for the funding with each striving to make the best of the opportunity.
Over 50 Billion Dollars Already Booked
It emerged from a July 28-29, 2016 Coordinator's meeting on the implementation of the follow up actions of the 2015 Johannesburg summit on China-Africa cooperation that about 230 agreements have been signed between China and Africa amounting to over 50 billion dollars.
The 53 participating African countries had their eyes focused on one or all of the three areas in which the new funding window has been tailored. Of the 60 billion dollars, 35 billion is a credit line for infrastructure development susceptible to improving the business climate, 20 billion dollars as loans for other projects and five billion dollars in grants and interest-free loans for projects related to the wellbeing of the population. The Beijing Coordinator's meeting was therefore to see how far countries had gone with the drafting of projects to benefit from the funding as well as seek common grounds on efficient field implementation.