BRI boon to integration, connectivity in Africa
ADDIS ABABA. – China-Africa cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has boosted infrastructure connectivity and integration across Africa, a senior African Union (AU) official has said.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed Initiative.
“In those 10 years, when we look at the landscape of Africa, we find very concrete evidence of the BRI,” said Mr Albert Muchanga, AU commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals.
“You have got transportation networks, communication networks, logistics centres, industrial parks, among several others,” he said, listing a few examples of China-Africa BRI cooperation in a recent interview with Xinhua.
He said joint infrastructure development between China and Africa under the BRI “made it very easy to connect African countries. You can move across (Africa), goods and services can also be conveyed and freighted across, and, above all, employment has been generated.”
The AU commissioner underscored the BRI’s role as a driver of employment for Africa’s burgeoning youth population. “When we generate employment, you boost consumption in the domestic economy, and that has a win-win outcome.”
“We have really been able to get a lot of benefit as Africa from the Belt and Road Initiative. We are very, very happy,” Mr Muchanga said.
Mr Muchanga said Africa greatly values its cooperation with China under the Initiative.
“We intend to proceed with what we have achieved. The next stage is to boost the productivity of African economies, and that requires investment in industrialisation. The greatest source of our productivity is in manufacturing, so we foresee a lot of manufacturing enterprises,” he said.
The AU commissioner emphasised the need to strengthen China-Africa cooperation in the energy sector to realise Africa’s aspirations to transition to cleaner energy.
“We are going into a green transition, and we need technology, and Africa has the resources to participate in the energy transition into de-carbonisation,” Mr Muchanga said. – Xinhua.