China and the African Development Bank plan to launch a US$2 billion investment vehicle this week, Financial Times reported, citing officials familiar with the project. Called the “Africa Growing Together Fund,” the project represents Beijing’s first ever departure from its much-criticized “cheque book” policy of bilateral deals with African countries largely to benefit its own construction groups. The new fund will open contracts to the most suitable bidder rather than just to Chinese companies. The African Development Bank is the continent’s biggest development lender.
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