ADDIS ABABA — China and Africa have been expanding their cooperation in various sectors on the basis of mutual benefit with substantiated evidence acclaimed by African officials.
Infrastructure development, which is a key for Africa’s economic transformation and integration, is one of the sectors that Sino-Africa cooperation is focused on.
It is widely acclaimed that China has also been contributing to the overall development on the African continent with emergency supports such as to Ebola crisis and also in the peace and security arena.
China has signed and been undertaking mega infrastructure projects in Africa, one of which is the recently inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AU to cooperate on three major infrastructure networks, high speed railway, aviation, road highways as well as on industrialization in Africa.
Signing the MoU with Zhang Ming, Vice Foreign Minister of China, on Jan 27, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, said China-Africa relationship and cooperation, particularly on infrastructure, is taking a different height.
“The relationship, particularly the cooperation is taking a different height, a different level, and a different dimension,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
It was witnessed at the signing ceremony that the high-level exchanges between China and Africa, especially the visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Africa and to the AU Headquarters last year has caused the ever expanding cooperation including the latest agreement between the AU and China.
“China’s contribution to infrastructure construction across the African continent is obvious and I really appreciate such contributions,” said Elham Mahmoud Ibrahim, AU commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the ongoing 24th AU summit.
The Commissioner said that China-Africa cooperation is a win- win deal in a move to boost regional sustainable development.
She also refuted accusations that infrastructure projects financed by China across the continent is a form of neocolonialism, saying such remarks are groundless.
“For colonialism, I think one is benefiting and the other is losing, but China-Africa cooperation can benefit both,” the official said, adding that such cooperation is a win-win deal as Africa is developing its continent while China is just doing business.
At a press briefing in the margins of the 24th AU summit in Ethiopia’s capital, Maman Sidikou, AU Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the AU mission in Somalia, said China is AU’s key partner on peace efforts in Somalia.
Through providing useful support in peace efforts in Somalia, China is becoming a key partner of AU, AMISOM, and Somalia to ensure peace and stability and prosperity in the Horn of African nation, he said, noting that China is one of the first countries to reopen its embassy in Mogadishu.
In addition to financial support, China has sent medical workers and experts to West Africa in a bid to aid African countries’ fight against the Ebola virus.