China Pledges $20 Billion in Loans for Africa

Posted July 19th, 2012 at 1:00 am (UTC-5)
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China has pledged $20 billion in new loans to Africa over the next three years to help development projects on the resource-rich continent.

Chinese President Hu Jintao announced the loan offer Thursday at the opening of a summit with African leaders in Beijing.

Mr. Hu said the funding would support agriculture, manufacturing and the development of small businesses in Africa.

The $20 billion figure is double the amount China offered at the last Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which was held in 2009.

Trade between China and African countries has surged as Beijing looked for resources to fuel its economic boom, reaching a record $166 billion last year.

Critics of China's dealings in Africa have expressed concerns about labor abuses and what they say is an unequal partnership between an emerging economy and poorer nations.