Beijing, China — MININGREVIEW.COM — January 16, 2008 – The China-Africa Development Fund plans to make its first investment in three months’ time, allocating an initial US$150 million (more than R1 billion) for projects in Ghana and Ethiopia.
Reporting this development today, Bloomberg News quotes the South China Morning Post as revealing that the fund will kick off with four projects in the mining, power and construction sectors. No details were provided at this stage.

Set up by the China Development Bank in June last year, the China-Africa Development Fund has been created to help provide financing to Chinese companies seeking to invest in Africa –  particularly in minerals and oil, said the South China Morning Post, citing the head of the fund.

The fund will eventually receive US$5 billion (almost R35 billion) from the Chinese government. It has been described as one of eight mechanisms for assisting Africa.

The Xinhua News Agency reports that with the Chinese economy expanding at a rapid pace, the world’s most populous country is increasingly looking to Africa to satisfy its demand for natural resources. Xinhua says the business scope of the fund includes equity and quasi-equity investments, fund investments, fund management, investment management and consulting services.

These services will be used to support various sectors in African economies, such as mining, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, transportation, telecommunications, urban infrastructure, resource exploration and the development of Chinese enterprises in Africa.

"Improving financial collaboration between Asia and Africa is crucial for both parties,” insists Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan. Chinese Ministry of Commerce statistics show that two-way trade between China and Africa has surged from more than US$4 billion (close to R30 billion) in 1995 to US$40 billion (almost R300 billion) in 2005.