The Chinese government on Monday provided a grant of 200 million Yuan (about 31.5 million US dollars) to South Sudan for development projects in the country.
This was announced in Juba after a meeting between the South Sudanese minister of Information and Broadcasting, Barnaba Marial Benjamin and the Chinese Ambassador to Juba, Li Zhiguo.
Ambassador Zhiguo said the grant is dedicated to support agriculture, education, health and water supply projects. He added that his government will donate a number of radio stations to South Sudan to promote media development.
Zhiguo said Chinese officials are in consultations with their counterparts in South Sudan to determine more development projects to be implemented where there are real needs. He also pledged that work will start immediately.
Minister Barnaba welcomed the Chinese gesture and praised Beijing’s tangible support for the South Sudan’s development endeavors.
“We want you to look comprehensively in the areas of investment as well as education, especially university education, which is constantly facing infrastructural and personnel challenges,” he said.
Last August during a visit to Juba, the Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi said his country will continue to develop “friendly cooperation” with South Sudan, including providing aid.
After a meeting with the South Sudan President Salva Kiir in August, Yang emphasized that the two countries should enhance cooperation in the fields of oil, mining, agriculture and infrastructure construction. He further said China will continue to help South Sudan promote development and improve people’s living conditions.
China, which will receive Salva Kiir in December of this year for more talks on development projects and economic cooperation, is the first oil producer in South Sudan.
Last September, Juba said it will respect previous oil contracts signed between the Sudanese and other investors, before the independence of the South Sudan on 9 July 2011.