Chinese President, Xi Jinping has said that China will further strengthen its relationship with Africa through its eight initiative plan.

He said this yesterday while delivering his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summit on the Forum On China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in China.

The initiatives will be on the basis of the ten cooperation plans adopted at previous FOCAC meeting, held in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa and will span across the next three years, and beyond.

To guarantee that these eight initiatives are implemented, China will extend $60 billion of financing to Africa in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies.

“We encourage Chinese companies to make at least US$10 billion of investment in Africa in the next three years. In addition, for those of Africa’s least developed countries, heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries that have diplomatic relations with China, the debt they have incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due to mature by the end of 2018 will be exempted,” Jinping said.

The eight initiatives will include ; Industrial promotion initiative , infrastructure connectivity initiative, trade facilitation initiative, green development initiative , capacity building initiative, healthcare initiative , People to people exchange initiative and peace and security initiative.

“We will work with Africa to undertake a number of key connectivity projects. We will support Africa in developing the Single African Air Transport Market and open more direct flights between China and Africa,” he noted.

Similarly, he expressed that China will facilitate bond issuance by African countries and their financial institutions in China,adding that he country will support African countries in making better use of financing resources of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the New Development Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is presently participating at the Summit alongside other African leaders.

The latest additions to the FOCAC are: The Gambia, São Tomé and Principe and Burkina Faso, all of whom President Jinping welcomed aboard.