Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has offered Africa $10bn (€6.7bn) in concessional loans over the next three years, saying China was a ‘true and trusted friend’ of the continent and its people.

The aid offer is double that unveiled by President Hu Jintao at the last summit in Beijing in 2006, as China aims to boost a relationship which politically goes back decades and is now economically booming, to the discomfort of some in the West.

Mr Jiabao brushed aside concerns that China was only interested in Africa's natural resources to help feed its booming economy.

'China's support for Africa's development is real and solid and, in the future, no matter what turbulence the world undergoes, our friendship with the people of Africa will not change,' he told a summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Besides the loans, Mr Wen said China would help Africa develop clean energy and cope with climate change, encourage Chinese financial institutions to lend to smaller African firms and expand market access for African products.

He also called for greater international help for the continent.