Tuesday, May 05, 2009

China Gives $10 Million to Zimbabwe

China gives $10 mln to Zimbabwe

LUSAKA (AFP) – China has given 10 million dollars (7.5 million euros) to Zimbabwe, half of it directly into the state coffers, to help boost the country's troubled economy, a Chinese government official said on Tuesday.

"The Chinese government last week gave our brothers in Zimbabwe five million US dollars in cash and humanitarian assistance amounting to five million dollars," China's special representative for African affairs, Liu Guijin told reporters in Zambia's capital Lusaka.

"We are happy with the efforts in forming a unity government," he added.

Liu spoke shortly before 18 leading Zimbabwean activists were detained on charges of attempting to overthrow long-time President Robert Mugabe, a move that his unity government partners warned threatened the fledgling power-sharing deal.

Liu said that even in the face of the global economic crisis, as well as the falling commodity prices, the Chinese government would continue encouraging private investors to Africa.

"We are encouraging our people to create more jobs opportunities in Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent," Liu said.

The new Zimbabwe unity government, which only took office in February said it needed more than 8.5 billion dollars (6.4 billion euros) over three years to haul the country out of economic ruin.

Last week, Industry Minister Welshman Ncube told state media that Zimbabwe had secured 400 million dollars in credit lines from neighbouring countries to revive the country's economy.

The report did not say which countries would extend the credits or what form they would take.

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