Mali signs $11bn China deal

17 September 2014

Mali has signed agreements with China totalling $11-billion, most intended to finance two major railway projects linking the land-locked country to the coast, Mali’s presidency said.

Mali gave few details on the terms of the 34 agreements but said they included some loans. They coincide with fresh talks with the IMF to review a programme for Mali and resume aid payments halted this year.

The IMF and World Bank froze nearly $70-million in financing after the Fund expressed concern in May about Mali’s purchase of a $40-million presidential jet and a loan for military supplies, deals that undermined donor confidence in the commitment of Mali’s new government to rebuild the country after a coup and an uprising in 2012.

“China is willing to increase trade and economic cooperation with African countries to promote joint development,” ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing in Beijing when asked if he could give any details about the Mali projects.

China typically gives very few details about agreements signed with other countries, especially in Africa.

Mali’s presidency said in the website statement the biggest of the planned projects was an $8-billion, 900-km (560-mile) railway linking the capital of Bamako to Guinea’s port capital Conakry.

Other projects include renovating the Bamako-Dakar railway, linking Mali to the Senegalese capital to the west, building a fourth bridge across the Niger river in Bamako and the construction of roads, especially in the north of the country, erecting housing, energy and education projects.

By: Reuters 

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