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China/Botswana energy deal

Chinese Vice
President Xi
Gaborone, Botswana — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 22 November 2010 – Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping has signed several economic deals with Botswana, including an energy agreement and one offering the southern African country US$6 million (R42 million) for development.

Xi, touted as China’s next president, arrived in Botswana on Saturday, the last stop on his Africa tour, after visiting oil producer Angola, China’s biggest African trading partner, and South Africa, Africa’s biggest economy.

Vice President Mompati Merafhe of Botswana and Xi signed three cooperation deals, including an economic and technical cooperation agreement, under which China is to provide Botswana with aid worth US$6 million (R42 million), China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The agency added that the two also signed an infrastructure and energy deal between the national utility Botswana Power Corporation, and the China Development Bank and Golden Concord Group. The final agreement was on financial projects between the Botswana government and the Export-Import Bank of China.

No monetary details were provided on the other two deals.

On Wednesday Xi signed an energy deal with South Africa in a visit aimed at obtaining minerals that the Asian giant needs to fuel its blistering growth.

China’s mineral diplomacy has been criticised for its secrecy, and for bolstering governments that Western states accuse of human rights violations.

A senior World Bank executive said Chinese companies eyeing African mineral resources must stop making closed-door deals and become more transparent in their investments.