Chinese Premier To Arrive In Kenya Tonight

The visit comes nearly ten months since President Uhuru Kenyatta visited China in what was his first official state visit to a foreign country.

The visit by the Chinese premier is part of a four African nation tour that has so far seen him visit Ethiopia, Nigeria and Angola..

In a speech at the organization of African Union headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Li unveiled extra aid for Africa totaling at least 1 trillion shillings and offered to share advance technology with the continent to help with development of high-speed rail.

China also increased credit lines to Africa by 860 billion shillings and boosted the China-Africa development fund by 172 billion shillings, bringing it to a total of 430 billion shillings.

"Financial support is vital to a practical cooperation. China has decided to increase its commitment to credit line to African Countries by 10 billion US dollars to reach a total of 30billion dollars. In addition we will put another 2 billion dollars into the China Africa development fund," said Li.

Li said that the new $10 billion credit line would be on top of the existing $20 billion already offered.

China will also offer $100 million in aid for wildlife protection.

Chinese officials said last week that Li's trip would not simply be for energy deals and Beijing will be seeking to help boost African living standards.

Trips by Chinese leaders to Africa are often marked by big natural resource deals, triggering criticism from some quarters that china is only interested in the continent's mineral and energy wealth.

Beijing has also been accused by some critics of holding back the continent's economic development by focusing on the pursuit of raw materials rather than the creation of local jobs and markets.

Africans broadly see China as a healthy counterbalance to western influence but, as ties mature, there are growing calls from policymakers and economists for more balanced trade relations.

By Maureen Murimi

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