(Bloomberg) -- Zambia signed a memorandum of understanding to plant trees and preserve and rehabilitate forest over 4 million hectares (9.88 million acres) of land with Chinese companies, an area equivalent to 5% of the southern African nation’s landmass. 

The pact, which is with Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group and a company the Zambian government said was called Development Company Ltd. of China, will include 100,000 hectares of plantations of slash pine, the government and companies said in a statement on Monday. 

Once the agreement is fully implemented it will produce 23.25 million carbon credits a year and employ 65,600 people, the government and companies said. African countries from Zimbabwe to Kenya are pushing to earn more money from carbon offsets.

A single carbon credit represents a ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent either removed from the atmosphere or prevented from entering it in the first place. They are bought by greenhouse gas emitters to offset their activities.

Forests suck in and store carbon, counteracting global emissions. 

(Updates with continental carbon credit drive in third paragraph)

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