JOHANNESBURG — The chief of an African Union (AU) agency on June 13 hailed the role that China is playing in the development of Africa’s infrastructure.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is an implementing agency of the AU focusing on cross cutting development issues on the continent including infrastructure development, capacity building and agriculture development.
NEPAD chief executive and former Niger Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki told Xinhua in a brief interview on the sidelines of the AU summit underway in Johannesburg that China’s help in Africa’s infrastructure development was commendable.
He said Africa was now working on restructuring the nature of its infrastructure projects from national to regional projects in order to maximize benefits from Chinese assistance.
“China is already playing a very great role because most of the big projects we have in infrastructure are being financed by China. We just need now to provide an adjustment on financing of regional projects,” he said.
Mayaki said NEPAD had identified 16 infrastructure development projects earmarked for implementation on the continent which has grappled with underdeveloped infrastructure for decades.
Leaders from 53 African states are expected to endorse a ten-year plan of the Agenda 2063, which sets a series of concerted development goals for the continent in the next fifty years.
Mayaki said the challenge with Africa was not lack of financial resources for infrastructure development but lack of bankable projects.
“The big issue that we have to deal with is to prepare projects adequately so that they can be financed by the private sector,” he said.