Decisive Moments

Head of governments across Africa convened in Beijing to attend a high-level summit hosted by China. The summit, which was also attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is called the Forum for Africa-China Cooperation, FOCAC, and was organized with the aim of increasing diplomatic, economic and bilateral ties amongst the two sides. It started on September 3, 2018, and lasted for two days. The summit kicked off at a time when Chinese financial support to Ethiopia is being cut down. Chinese banks and credit insurance companies have repeatedly expressed their worry about Ethiopia’s increasing debt and foreign currency crisis, and have started delaying loans to companies engaged in infrastructure development in Ethiopia. However, President Xi Jinping, who held talks with Ethiopia’s Abiy one day before the summit, affirmed that Ethiopia will continue being an important partner of China. “The two countries have established a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership,” Xi said. “China supports Ethiopia in pursuing a development path suited to its own national conditions, and appreciates its active participation in the building of the Belt and Road.” Xi, in the summit, announced a USD60 billion package of aid, investment and loans to African countries, including Ethiopia.

As of now, there are 400 active Chinese investment projects, with an investment capital of four billion dollars in Ethiopia. Chinese investment projects accounted for 24.8Pct of the 5,217 total investment projects that were licensed in the last budget year.

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