The state-owned China International Fund (CIF) plans to provide Guinea’s military dictatorship with finance and investment, providing a lifeline to the west African country after western powers and the African Union threatened sanctions following the Guinean government’s massacre of 150 protesters two weeks ago, the Financial Times reported. According to Guinea’s mines minister, the CIF would finance development of US$7 billion worth of projects, including power generation and the creation of an airline. At the same time, CIF would join Angolan state oil company Sonangol to explore Guinea’s offshore oil blocks. Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite, and also holds significant gold, diamond, uranium and iron ore deposits, which the regime has relied on to support it through periods of international isolation. The structure of the proposed deal resembles Chinese investment agreements in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Guinea’s minister of mines said that Guinea has learned from other countries where Chinese investments have gone awry. It structured its agreement by forming a joint venture with CIF in Singapore in which the Guinean government will have a 25% share.
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