Chinese Premier Li Keqiang signed a string of economic deals withKenya on Saturday on the final leg of a four-nation Africa tour that has underscoredBeijing's growing ties with the continent.After talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Li and his delegation signed offon 17 agreements that include provisions for economic cooperation grants,interest-free and concessional loans and assistance to build a new railway link fromthe Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa to Nairobi and rest of east Africa.Wildlife conservation was also on the agenda, with Li keen to show official Chinesesupport for Kenya's efforts to combat the rampant poaching of elephants and rhino
in the face of huge demand for ivory and rhino horns in Asia, particularly China.One of the agreements covered the provision of equipment for Kenya's embattledanti-poaching force.Speaking in a joint news conference, Kenyatta tanked China for its "continuedsupport and cooperation in our effort to combat and eventually eliminate the illegal
trade in ivory as well as in our other initiatives to preserve our natural heritage."He also stressed "Asia and Africa's common struggles against imperialism andcolonialism".The Chinese official has been on a four-country tour of Africa, his first since takingoffice last year, with the world's second-biggest economy keen to boost its presence
on the continent to find new markets and opportunities.Li will also meet regional leaders on Sunday in Kenya, including Paul Kagame ofRwanda, Salva Kiir of war-torn South Sudan, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Yoweri
Museveni of Uganda.East African leaders have been looking to China for help to build a modern railwayto link the Burundian capital Bujumbura, passing though Uganda and Rwanda, witha proposed branch line heading to South Sudan.