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African Economies Reap Big from Cooperation with China : AU Officials
AU officials comment on China's economic engagement in Africa
Edited by Li Nan 

China's economic engagement in Africa has created significant benefits for African economies which is a catalyst for the continent to realize agenda 2063, say top officials at the African Union (AU) in Kigali, capital of Rwanda.

Rwanda hosts the summit from July 10th to 18th under the theme: "2016: African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the Rights of Women."

In an interview with Xinhua, David Bahati, Uganda State Minister of Finance and Planning said that China is playing a crucial role in enabling the continent address the challenges of infrastructure development especially in the areas of roads, railways, ICT and energy.

"In the recent years, we have seen China's foreign aid to Africa increase which has boosted social and economic transformation of the African economies. For instance China is supporting Uganda to have renewable energy sources through the construction of hydro-electricity dams which will enable our country achieve sustainable development goals," he added.

Bahati pointed out that Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE has promoted Africa's digital transformation.

"African countries need more support from China especially in the areas of technology and skill transfer which can boost skills development among young labour force in Africa," he noted.

According to Claver Gatete, Rwanda Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, China has greatly increased its foreign aid to African countries in the recent years, a major step towards promoting bilateral relations with recipient countries to enhance economic and trade cooperation.

"China's support to Africa has created millions of jobs to Africans especially in sectors of petroleum, agriculture, ICT, manufacturing and energy among others which has significantly addressed unemployment among youth on the continent," he said.

Gatete stated that China and Africa bilateral relationship is growing strong as the continent looks to achieve Agenda 2063.

Agenda 2063 is the African continent approach to effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate to ensure positive socio-economic transformation within the next 50 years.

Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister stated that China never considers foreign aid simply as a donation, but an important form of cooperation to advance the mutual benefit, win-win and common development of China and African nations.

"China's foreign aid prioritizes poverty reduction and economic development of the African countries. China's contributions to Africa's growth is visible and has expanded economic activity, job creation for local workers, and infrastructural development," he added.

In December last year, China offered a whopping $60 billion loan and aid package to Africa, top boost the continent's economic transformation and industrialization and technological development.

The Chinese Government announced that it will roll out 10 cooperation plans that will strengthen cooperation with Africa within the next three years.

The joint venture programs cover the areas of agricultural modernization, infrastructure, industrialization, financial services, trade and investment facilitation, green development, peace and security, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health and people-to-people exchanges.

(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2016)

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