LUANDA (AFP) - China has extended almost $15 billion in credit to Angola since the African oil giants civil war, but has struggled to hire trained locals for reconstruction projects, Beijings ambassador told AFP.
China has taken a keen interest in helping the southern African country rebuild since its 27-year civil war ended in 2002, but details of deals between the two have remained opaque.
In the first official estimate of Chinese lending to Angola, Ambassador Zhang Bolun said that three state banks the Export-Import Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the China Development Bank have extended $14.5 billion (10.5 billion euros) in credit to the resource-rich country. The total of the credit lines is $14.5 billion if we add up the three credits, Zhang said in an interview. Angola, which vies with Nigeria for the title of Africas top oil producer, repays the loans in crude guaranteeing the Asian powerhouse access to energy it needs to fuel its growth. The deals have made Angola Chinas second-largest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia. On Angolas side, they have helped restore road and rail networks and build hospitals, schools and houses. Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said in 2006 of the relationship, China needs natural resources and Angola needs development. But Angolans have criticised Dos Santos government for allowing Chinese workers to flood the country under loan deals.