China's Xi Jinping pledges another 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses for Africa

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking via video link at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation on Nov 29, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday (Nov 29) said China would offer another one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to African countries and would encourage Chinese companies to invest no less than US$10 billion (S$13.7 billion) in Africa over the next three years.

The pledge of additional vaccine doses - on top of the nearly 200 million that China has already supplied to the continent - comes as concerns intensify over the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus, known as Omicron, which was identified in southern Africa.

In a speech given via video link at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Mr Xi also said a China-Africa cross-border renminbi centre would be set up to provide African financial institutions with a credit line of US$10 billion, without giving further details.

China's total imports from Africa, one of its key sources of crude oil and mineral supply, will reach US$300 billion in the next three years, Mr Xi said.

He added that the two sides would cooperate in areas such as health, digital innovation, trade promotion and green development.

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