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Li will visit Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya in his first state visit to the continent since taking office in 2013.
Li’s trip from May 4 to 11, is expected to boost ties with Africa where Chinese direct investments reached $25 billion in 2013, up 44 per cent from 2008.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Saturday that the Chinese Premier’s visit would be a “game charger” for the east Africa region.
Kenyatta held talks with the Chinese Ambassador Liu Xianfa in Nairobi ahead of Li’s visit.
Kenyatta said the region requires “a strong partner who will not only support it in economic ventures but also in peace settlement”.
China has intensified investments in Kenya with bilateral trade increasing to $3.27 billion in 2013, according to statistics from the Chinese Embassy in Kenya. China also has become Kenya’s biggest foreign direct investments source.
According to the African Development Bank, some 85 per cent of China’s exports from Africa are raw materials, such as oil and minerals.
The Chinese government has been battling to address these concerns raised by an unbalanced pattern of trade, even as it finances massive infrastructure projects in the continent. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in February this year that China, which has long been accused of using Africa as a source of natural resources and a market for its goods, will aim to make the continent more self-reliant.
Meanwhile, Zhang Ming, Chinese vice-minister for foreign affairs, told reporters in Beijing that about 60 agreements will be signed during Li’s trip which a”highlights the great importance we attach to China-Africa relations”.
Li will also address African Union leaders in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.