We've noted before China's offers to assist African development through scientific aid. SciDev.Net this week has yet another example, from a meeting between the president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the UN's secretary-general Kofi Annan. All well and good, but this would be of only passing interest except for the comment from an unnamed Chinese official:
"China will send experts to train local technicians in African countries, and will also host training classes and sponsor African experts to learn in China about agriculture, water power and renewable energies". (Emphasis mine.)
China is clearly making renewable energy technologies a big part of its thrust to be a global power. Africa and other poor areas are terrific test-beds for Chinese renewable R&D, as system which would not be competitive in western markets can still find eager users. As Chinese renewable technologies get better, expect to see their target audience move from African aid to global consumers.
It's great that China is claiming to be interested in renewable resources in Africa, but you might want to cross check that with their recent behavior in Sudan.
They make no bones about the fact that what they are interested in is oil, no holds barred.