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  Home > Latest News
China-Zambia ties cemented through assistance, investment
2007/03/21

 

As an "all-weather friend" of Zambia, China has fostered its ties with the southern African country by carrying out mutually beneficial economic cooperation and aiding the country's economic and social development.

During the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last November, the Chinese government promised to help Zambia build a modern stadium before the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and provide a grant of 6 million U.S. dollars for the country's development projects.

Of all Beijing's financial assistance pledges during the summit, the most significant one was the write-off of Zambia's debt related to the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA), which is an emblem of China-Zambia friendship.

The railway, built with China's financial and technical assistance in the 1970s, served as an important alternative transport exit for the copper-rich Zambia, which was then blocked by neighboring white regimes for its support to the liberation struggle of other African countries.

China offered an interest-free loan of 1.1 billion yuan (around 138 million dollars) for the construction of the 1,860-km railway which took over 50,000 technicians and workers seven years to complete in 1976.

During the Beijing Summit, China also agreed to give Zambia a 1.5 million yuan (about 188,000 dollars) grant for the provision of anti-malaria drugs.

China has so far sent to the country a total of 347 doctors in 13 medical teams since 1978 to work along with local medical stuff.

In 2006, China agreed to provide an 80 million yuan (around 10 million dollars) grant to help upgrade the water supply systems in capital Lusaka and two other cities, Ndola and Kitwe.

In the field of personnel training, the Chinese government offers scholarships to 25 Zambian students every year to let them study in Chinese universities.

So far, more than 500 Zambian students have concluded their study in China and returned to their country to contribute to its economic and social development.

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said that assistance from China were "practical" and were of great importance to Zambia as well as its people.

In recent years, Zambia has attracted more and more investments from China into various sectors ranging from agriculture, construction, infrastructure, mining, communication to medical and health care, which has promoted the Chinese-Zambian relations.

Figures from Zambia Investment Center show that about 200 Chinese companies have opened business in Zambia with total investments reaching 500 million dollars by the end of 2006.

China has become the third largest investor in Zambia after its traditional partners South Africa and Britain.

"Chinese investment has helped reshape Zambia's economy and improve the lives of many people," said President Mwanawasa. 

 

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