The “Belt and Road” initiative developed by the Chinese leadership with president Xi Jinping at the core is essentially designed as a framework for global roadmap to peace, security and development. As the issue of peace and security is intrinsically linked to development, any meaningful development agenda must bear fruit in enhanced security and sustainable peace.
The “Belt and Road” initiative is essentially a massive development road and maritime network to criss-cross the globe through infrastructural linkages, people to people engagement through enhanced contacts and interactions.
In Africa, the “Belt and Road” would fill in the brittle and hollow gap of massive infrastructure deficit that has produced the paradox in which Africa is too close in geography but its people are too distant from each other, because of the near dearth of physical infrastructure to promote closer contacts.
China, as a huge country, has extensive geographical diversity but have achieved enhanced integration through efficient network of infrastructure, understands more intimately the Africa’s dilemma of physical integration.
China has in her unique and extensive cooperation with Africa, been at the cutting edge of supporting Africa to create network of, road, air and maritime infrastructure to enhance interconnectivity.
Peace and Security in Africa is best guaranteed by enhancing the capacity and efficiency of the State in not only delivering service and other governance goods but also in building its capability to enforce order and implement its laws.
Enhancing institutional efficiency and constructing a structural framework to further the State’s capability to adjust to changing domestic and international exigencies and challenges, would enable Africa countries to develop mechanisms for early warning systems, necessary to manage conditions leading to outbreak of conflicts.
China’s Africa policy has been proactive in supporting Africa to build and develop the requisite institutional capacity to meet with the challenge of early signs of conflict. Beijing’s contribution in strengthening the institutional efficiency of more than Africa’s foremost regional mechanism, the African Union, ( AU) is particularly instructive. Supporting Africa states to deliver on governance goods and tangible development has enhanced the indigenous legitimacy of the State in Africa. The practical support of China in Africa has enabled the construction of 5,675kilometer railway lines, 5,063 kilometer roads, 13airpoorts, 20 bridges, 12 port and 68 power stations, which has greatly improved infrastructure condition in the continent.
Within the framework at the “Belt and Road”, Africa-China co-operation stands at a point of new powerful impetus, where Africa’s infrastructure needs would get a quantum leap as far as the leadership of the continent understand the significance of the epochal Chinese initiative to induce a global development roadmap, unparallel in history.
Africa’s peace and development prospects is uniquely placed to find momentum and renewed energy within the context of China’s robust initiative of “Belt and Road”, development paradigm, if she seizes the moments and convert it, to opportunity.
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