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Salone to benefit from Chinese USD 60 billion funding support to Africa

June 7, 2016

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, Shen Xiaokai  has stated last week  that his office was  coordinating Chinese financial banks and agencies so as to provide more commercial loans from the Chinese Government USD 60 billion funding support  to Africa for Small and Medium Enterprises in Sierra Leone.

Shen Xiaokai  said to benefit from the USD 60 billion funding support , every  African country was entitled to raise its project proposals and the  use of the fund  would be determinant  on the basis of the feasibility and evaluation results of the projects rather than being allocated on a country-specific basis.

Mr.Shen further emphasized that the principle of China aid is that projects should be raised, agreed and led by the recipient countries, adding that the Sierra Leonean people and government best knew which project should be their first priority.

“Within the USD 60 billion funding support to Africa, Sierra Leone could make the best out of it and submits more project proposals and try to secure more fund resources to implement as more projects like the Mamamah New Airport as possible,” he said.

His said his office would always be opened to any feasible and practical project proposals from the Sierra Leonean government, which would tremendously accelerate the process of Agenda for Prosperity and the Post-Ebola Recovery Plan for Sierra Leone.

He said besides the well-known projects including the National Stadium, the Youyi Building, the Mange and Kambia bridges, the New Building for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Regent Youyi Road among others, China was now planning to support Sierra Leone.

“With grant, China is going to implement two projects and the first would be the West African Tropical Disease Research and Prevention Centre, which is the most significant project for the Post-Ebola recovery plan. The centre will include a new CDC office building and it would help to strengthen the long term ability of public health system for Sierra Leone. The second one is the 3.2km Freetown link way road from Lumkokwing University to Regent which is also very important to facilitate the movement of people from capital of Freetown to the provinces. With this link road, directly connected to the Regent Youyi Road and the Wellington-Masiaka Highway, it will only take around half an hour to travel from Mamamah New Airport to Hill Station in town,” he said.

With loans of preferential natures, he said China would be focusing on the Mamamah International Airport Project and the Rokel Water Supply Project.

Mr. Shen said that China understood the importance of the Mamamah International Airport Project as the No.1 priority for the Sierra Leonean government and people; therefore the project has already been included into the budget of the USD 60 billion.

He also emphasized that with USD 200 million to implement the Phase I of the project, the new airport would be fully functional and in line with international standards.

“After Phase I, Sierra Leone could further apply for more funding support from China to do the Phase II which would make the new airport a magnificent landmark. It is advisable that Sierra Leone grasp this funding opportunity so as to let the new airport be kicked off as soon as possible,” he said.

As for the Rokel Water Supply Project, Mr. Shen said China had noticed the serious lack of water supply for Freetown and the urgent need for the Rokel Water Supply Project.

“We are quite concerned about the livelihood of the Freetownians, who are struggling with no reliable and sanitation water supply. The Rokel Water Supply Project will definitely and significantly help to solve the problem of water shortage in Freetown. This project would be implemented as soon as the Mamamah New Airport  kicked off and the living standard of the people in Freetown would greatly  be improved,” he said.

Meanwhile, during the Johannesburg Summit and the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in South Africa in December 2015, President Xi Jinping announced at the summit to upgrade the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and to implement ten cooperation plans on industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure development, and public health with African countries.

 To ensure the successful implementation of the ten cooperation plans, China has decided to provide a total of USD 60 billion funding support. It includes USD 5 billion of grant and interest-free loans, USD 35 billion of loans of preferential nature with more favorable terms and export credit line, an increase of USD 5 billion to the China-Africa Development Fund and the special loan for the development of African Small and Medium Enterprises respectively, and establishing the China-Africa Fund for Production Capacity Cooperation with an initial contribution of USD 10 billion.

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