- Ethiopia became one of the first beneficiaries of the new China-Africa development funding when it signed a US$ 349 million loan agreement to build the country's first modern highway road.
The road that will cover almost 80 km will link Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa with Nazeret, which the country's second largest city.
According to the agreement, funds from the Export-Import Bank of China will be used to provide the loans, while the China Road and Bridge Corporation will be the main contractor in the work that is expected to be launched early next year.
The Ethiopian News Agency also reported that the road construction, which is expected to be finished by 2014, will be structured in a such a way that it will ease traffic and provide high quality and improve efficient service between the two cities.
Ethiopia already has other financing deals with China, such as in the water, energy and telecommunications sectors.
Chinese and African leader are meeting in Egypt this weekend, to further cement the booming economic and political ties.
The two-day Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which began on Sunday in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, has since its modest start in year 2000 developed into one of the most important cooperation forums for African leaders, where rapid results and multi-billion deals can be reached.
China-African relations have boomed during this decade, with Beijing now being one of the lead players on the African continent. Direct Chinese investment in Africa leapt from US$ 491 million in 2003 to US$ 7.8 billion in 2008. Trade between the two parties has also increased tenfold since the start of the decade. Last year, China-Africa trade reached US$ 106.8 billion - a rise of 45 percent in one year and on par with the United States.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.