Chinese seek resources, profits in Africa, by Rob Crilly

Thursday, June 23, 2005

“Aid only goes so far,” he says. “The key is development. Chinese companies are building roads, providing telecom equipment and building power networks. It is important to our economy, but there is also a big benefit to the developing country because we bring a lot of experience in this field.”

Trade tripled from 2000 to 2004, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, as China tapped into Africa’s natural resources and foreign earnings it needs to fuel rapid Chinese economic growth.

For Song, that means winning some of Kenya’s ongoing $450 million electricity modernization program. The Chinese government already has offered $60 million for rural electrification, a project that aims to connect 150,000 customers to the grid each year.

“Of course we are here for profit. But we only ask for reasonable profits and make sure that we train local people, provide jobs. But most of all, we are helping the power industry develop,” he says.
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