US$ 1 billion Belt & Road Africa Fund launched

Business projects embedded in China’s Belt and Road initiative will be supported by a recently launched US$ 1 billion private fund.

 

Launched on the sidelines of the recent World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian, China, the fund will be chaired by doctor and businessman Dr Iqbal Survé, president of the South African Sekunjalo Group which focuses on investments in the African continent.

 

The fund provides funding for projects related to infrastructure, technologies, e-commerce, AI and modernisation of the resource industry and its objectives include the establishment of interconnection between African and Chinese enterprises, strengthening cooperation between the business sectors in China and Africa. It will be financed by private investors, mainly Chinese investors, according to Survé who was the former president of the BRICS Business Council for the South African market. Survé was named earlier this year for the Belt and Road News Network Council and Think Tank.

 

“The discussions we had with Chinese entrepreneurs, state-owned enterprises and family offices have resulted in the establishment of this fund,” he said. “Africa is poised to grow and is moving towards a US$ 5 trillion economy. This fund is a major boost for the development of Africa.”

 

The fund will be formally launched in September with at least 1,000 Chinese and African companies. The sectors in which the fund will make investments and the format of these investments will be announced also be announced at this time.

 

In Africa, discussions on the Belt and Road initiative have focused on supporting the continent’s infrastructure needs, which the World Bank says require an investment of US$ 170 billion a year over 10 years.

 

The African Development Bank says that part of this investment can come from the Belt and Road initiative and channelled to the African Union infrastructure plan.

 

Researcher Paul Nantulya states in a study for the Africa Center for Strategic Studies that East Africa will be linked by “planned and functioning ports, pipelines, railways and power plants built and funded by Chinese companies and lenders.” The ports of Angola, Mozambique and São Tome e Príncipe are examples of Chinese-built infrastructure.

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