The demonstrable evidence of China’s reforms in the past 40 years shows that Africa can find her own path to economic modernization and pursue it with success.
This is according to Mr. Charles Onunaiju, director of the Centre for China Studies, Nigeria-based Think Tank, in a paper he delivered at an International Think Tank Forum to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening up.
The Forum, which held in Shenzhen, Guangdong province of China last month was organized by the Development Research Centre of Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government and hosted by the Counselllour’s office of the State Council of China’s Central government.
The director of the CCS, who led the only Africa’s based Think Tank invited to the international seminar praised China, especially the governing Communist Party of China for uncommon focus on reform and opening up, which the world has acknowledged as having the most impactful social transformation, in all human history, having lifted over 700 million people out of poverty in the shortest span of human memory.
Mr. Onunaiju said that what is particularly instructive is that the reform and opening up strategy was entirely a domestic initiative that took account of China’s specific national conditions and social realities, adding that been a wholly domestic paradigm of national development, it was easy to mobilize the Chinese population around it and task them on the sacrifices necessary to realize the goals.
The CCS director, recalled that at the same time in the early 1980s, when China’s reforms and opening up was underway, Africa’s leadership in consultation with key stakeholders like labour organizations, Employers and Manufactures organization defined an economic roadmap which was contained in the 1980 Lagos Plan of Action, to drive industrialization and sustainable development. But according to Mr. Onunaiju, the original home-grown initiative was abandoned in favour of the World Bank/IMF structural adjustment programme, which plunged the economies of the region into disarray and lunched most of them into the disastrous debt crisis.
Stating that the prospects of Africa is bright, the CCS director said that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the Belt and Road strategy, the framework of international cooperation on infrastructure connectivity, policy coordination, financial integration and people-to-people cross-cultural engagement initiated by China provides fresh opportunities to accomplish industrialization and regional integration among others in Africa.
He paid tribute to the outcomes of the recently concluded Beijing summit of FOCAC and called the eight initiatives outlined by President Xi Jinping and the 60billion U.S dollars funding support, “a giant leap in China-Africa Cooperation that would give practical effect to Africa’s renaissance.”