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Zimbabwe, China sign cooperation accord

The agreements were the culmination of discussions between Zimbabwean and Chinese officials during a state visit to the southern African country by a trade and economic delegation from China led by the country’s Minister of Commerce, Chen Deming.

The first was for a $9.6 million interest-free loan agreement under which China would fund a programme to upgrade roads in Zimbabwean rural areas as well as purchase the necessary equipment for rural district councils.

Other agreements saw China donating irrigation equipment for Zimbabwean smallholder farmers as well as outside broadcasting equipment and a satellite uplink valued at US$6.5 million.

Economic ties between Harare and Beijing have blossomed during the past decade since Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe adopted a “Look East” policy in 2000 that saw Zimbabwe shifting its focus to China and other Asian countries and relying less on its traditional Western
partners.

The Chinese delegation also met Acting Zimbabwean President Joice Mujuru on Friday.

Mugabe is in Equatorial Guinea where he is attending the 3rd Africa-South America Summit.

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