Ben Barka noted that it will be possible to significantly improve the contribution of local rivers to the country’s development. There will be four dams on the Senegal River that are crossing the Western part of Mali; and 100,000 hectares will be irrigated in the interior delta of the Niger River, an area that has produced most of the country’s rice since 1932.
According to Diakité, social projects announced to be realized by China can explain why people welcomed president Keita, who wants to give hope to his electors.
“China accepts to build in Mali 24,000 social housings. It’s a rare opportunity for most Malians who wouldn’t otherwise dream of possessing their own homes,” he said.
China banks on coming to Mali
Besides housing investment, China has decided to offer 600 yearly scholarships to Malian students who want to study at Chinese universities. In addition to the scholarships, teaching centers specifically dedicated to education in agrarian technology and construction techniques are among China’s gifts to the Malian authorities.
Mali also relies on China to invest in new power plants to break the electricity crisis that is affecting the country. This is supposed to make available cheaper electricity for the industrial development, the Malian authorities said. A hydroelectric dam will be built in the area of Dire in the North of the country; a hybrid power plant in Kidal in the North-East and another one in Timbuktu, which is in the North as well. Solar power plants will also be created in other parts of the country and all those infrastructures will be connected to the national grid of electricity.
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The Malian government announced that China is already present in Mali with some industrial investments that are supposed to be reinforced. A factory of medicine production that is being constructed in the outskirts of the capital will be enlarged to be the largest in West Africa, according to Mahamadou Camara, the Malian minister of communication. More than 95 percent of the factory has been completed and it will be operating on January, 2015.
An old tea factory run by Chinese investors in the South of the country will also be revived. The creation of industrial zones that have been initiated by former regimes in Mali will be continued under president Keita, who relies on China’s help to develop and promote the country’s industrialization. Chinese banks that are not yet present in Mali are supposed to contribute to create small-scaled companies and industries, Camara said.