China loans Mozambique $682-million for bridge
China's Exim Bank has given Mozambique a $682-million loan to build a key suspension bridge in the capital, Mozambican state newspaper Noticias says.
The three-kilometre (two-mile) bridge across Maputo Bay will connect the capital to Catembe, a community of 20,000 people whose population is expected to swell to 400,000 over the next three decades, the paper said.
The project includes paving the 120-kilometre road between Catembe and Ponta do Ouro, a popular tourist resort which borders South Africa. That would also connect Maputo to Durban, the continent's busiest port.
The deal was signed Wednesday in China, the paper said, following an earlier agreement with the bank for a $72.5 million loan for the bridge.
Originally Portugal had been expected to help with financing, but the country's former colonial ruler withdrew amid the euro-zone crisis.
The deal was announced as China's President Hu Jintao on Thursday unveiled a total of $20 billion in new loans to Africa.