China, Africa win big as cooperation gains thrust
Written by: Dr. Vince Sinining
Tuesday, September 4th, 2018, 7:37
African leaders gathered September3-4 in the Chinese capital Beijing for the 18th China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit with expectation to strengthen friendship and enhance pragmatic cooperation to bring about tangible benefits to Chinese and Africans. The Summit is themed: “China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation.”
Delegates forged political mechanisms for a closer China-Africa community with a shared future. With initiatives like the China’s Belt and Road Initiative with African development, there is concrete assurance for a new path leading to higher level of China-Africa cooperation alongside deepening people-to-people exchanges.
FOCAC has achieved fruitful results becoming a significant mark of China-Africa cooperation. China-Africa trade volume amounted to $170bn (2017) up from about $10bn dollars in 2000, records in China’s Ministry of Commerce indicate.
Opening the forum President Xi Jinping said, “China stands ready to strengthen comprehensive cooperationwith African countries to build a road of high-quality development that is suited to national conditions, inclusive and beneficial to all.”
Xi announced that China will invest $60bn in Africa in form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies.
President Paul Kagame, AU Chairperson observed that China’s approach is a win-win. He said that China’s actions have demonstrated that a stronger Africa is seen as an opportunity to invest in rather than as a problem or a threat and expressed optimism that the Forum will continue to grow into a powerful engine of cooperation fully aligned with Africa’s Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals.
“China’s engagement has been deeply transformational internally and with respect to Africa’s global position,” said Kagame
The five year old China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is increasing in popularity as more countries express interest to join the project.
10 countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements while negations with others are underway.
Recently, China signed cooperation documents with Senegal and Rwanda.
China said the summit would strengthen Africa’s role in the Belt and Road initiative to link China by sea and land through an infrastructure network modelled on the old Silk Road with southeast and central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
Sources said Beijing pledged $126bn to accelerate development through shared markets and resources on the continent.
There’s widespread opinion that China’s engagement in Africa has positively contributed to impressive growth.