Zambia seeks $275m Chinese housing loan

Despite its slowing growth in 2015, China has continued its commitment to helping Africa develop its infrastructure. At the recently held Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Johannesburg, the Asian powerhouse offered $60 billion in loans and aid to the continent. Now, Africa’s top copper producer Zambia wants $275 million for development of housing.

China, whose trade with Africa exceeded $220 billion in 2014, has often been criticized about the nature of its investments in Africa and what it means for the future of the continent but Beijing has reiterated and tried to prove over and over again that it was only interested in developing infrastructure, improving agriculture, and reducing poverty on the continent. Whatever the West thinks of the China-Africa romance, countries in the region seem less concerned as more loan deals are being agreed.

Several deals were signed with China while Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Africa, depeening Beijing’s ties with the continent.

The $275 million Zambia is planning to borrow from China, will be used for the construction of housing units for the country’s security wings.

According to Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda, the loan would provide resources for the project which is expected to ease housing shortage within some security agencies in the copper-rich country whose trade with China rose to nearly $3.4 billion in 2012.

While in Africa, Chinese President Xi Jinping oversaw the signing of 26 agreements with South African companies and government departments worth $6.5 billion. He also witnessed the signing of 10 business agreements in Zimbabwe, which included a $1 billion funding of the country’s largest thermal power plant.

China’s relationship with Africa continues to blossom as readily available financing for infrastructure strengthens the bond. By 2025, China will have provided Africa with $1 trillion in financing, including direct investment, soft loans and commercial loans.