|Nigeria looks east to address economic woes|
Nigeria will welcome all kinds of support from China, the world’s second largest economy to help shore up its growth as the major African economy enters a recession, an expert on China-Africa development issues has said.
Enehikhuere, a member of the African Think Tank for China-Africa Development, told Xinhua in an interview that China, being an important partner in Nigeria’s growth and development, is expected to play a constructive role in helping Nigeria address its economic problems.
According to him, Nigeria, like other African countries, is comfortable with China’s economic leadership and is willing to learn how to grow the economy through Chinese expertise.
Nigeria’s economy formally entered recession in the third quarter of the year when its Gross Domestic Product in real terms declined by 2.06 percent in the second quarter year on year after a 0.36 percent decline in the first quarter.
China and Nigeria, Enehikhuere noted, have collaborated in many fronts to combat various challenges in the past.
“Therefore, it won’t be a difficult thing for the two nations to exchange ideas and support to help Nigeria come out of its present economic situation,” said the expert.
He said although Nigeria is in recession, its economy can remain robust especially as the West African nation looks forward to diversifying its economy.
China has invested more than 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in the Nigerian economy as of the end of 2015, especially in areas such as telecommunications, construction, agriculture, petroleum and solid minerals, according to data from the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria.
Enehikhuere said that China is always a destination for Nigeria and other African countries because the East Asian nation has proved to be “Africa’s friend in weal and woe”.
“The Nigerian economy is very relevant in Africa, and we can do a lot of things with China,” he added.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari paid a state visit to China in April this year and during his meeting with Chinese PremierLi Keqiang, Li said China is ready to help promote the African country’s industrialization through enhancing production capacity cooperation, spearheaded by infrastructure projects including railway, highway, and hydropower construction.
China encourages capable enterprises to invest in Nigeria, the premier said, calling on Nigeria to provide good protection and support for Chinese investment.
|Strong bilateral relation up China-Egypt investment cooperation: Egypt’s trade minister|
Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo (C) applauds with guests when cutting a cake at a reception celebrating the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 27, 2016. (Xinhua/Zhao Dingzhe)
Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil has said on Tuesday that the strong bilateral relations between the two nations will promote China-Egypt investment cooperation and his country is seeking more Chinese investments in his country.
“Egypt is a good investment hub and we expect more Chinese investments in the near future,” Kabil told Xinhua.
His comments came during a reception event organized by the Chinese Embassy in Cairo to mark the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
“Our ties are very strong… this should be used to increase Chinese projects in Egypt,” he said.
The minister stressed that Egypt is ready to facilitate investment procedures for Chinese firms willing to investment in his country, adding that the Egyptian economy is growing and promising for foreign investments.
In 2015, the volume of trade between China and Egypt increased by over 10 percent, and China has continuously been Egypt’s largest trade partner in recent years.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador Song Aiguo said in a speech during the event that the friendship between China and Egypt is time-honored and the momentum for the bilateral cooperation is strong and robust.
The ambassador said that China’s initiative of Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, being highly compatible to Egypt’s Suez Canal Axis development strategy and enjoying support from Egypt, serves as a perfect combination of traditional friendship and modern cooperation between the two countries and will definitely offer more space for cooperation.
“I am confident that the relationship between our two countries will certainly enjoy an even brighter future,” he said.
|New Chinese peacekeepers dispatched to Liberia|
A team of 109 Chinese peacekeepers left Beijing last month for a one-year United Nations peacekeeping mission in Liberia.
The group of peacemakers, consisting of a transportation and an engineering detachment, will be tasked with road and bridge maintenance and the provision of construction materials, fuel and international relief supplies.
Shi Shuai, the political commissar, said that the peacekeepers have made plans for emergencies including being attacked, and received training for first aid, engineering reconnaissance and riot control.
This is the 19th group of peacekeepers that China has deployed to Liberia since 2003.
|China funded research center handed over to Kenyan university|
A staff member walks into the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 26, 2016. The state-of-the-art facility funded by the Chinese government to promote collaborative research with African countries in the field of agriculture and biodiversity conservation was officially handed over to a Kenyan university on Monday. The research center includes buildings of 4,300 square meters, and a 36-acre botanical garden
|S/Africa tourism authority launches Mandarin, Russian languages training|
The South African Ministry of Tourism has officially launched the Foreign Language Training Programme in Mandarin Chinese and Russian for tourist guides and frontline staff to improve the service rendered to visitors from the two countries.
Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg, Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa said South Africa looks up to China and Russia to grow the economy and create more jobs.
The first phase of the program involved 20 South Africans who took Madarian courses.
After finishing the courses, the participants, together with those who are learning Russian, will visit China and Russia to gain confidence in the language.
The Tourism Department said they chose the two languages after realizing that more and more visitors are coming from the two countries.
For overseas markets, South Africa saw the highest increase in tourist arrivals from China which increased 64 percent year on year for July 2016, the Department of Tourism said.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting South Africa increased from 5,402 in July 2015 to 8,858 in July this year, the department said.
Xasa encouraged those learning the two languages to be ambassadors of South Africa.
She said those who have learnt the languages will help educate others who do not know the languages for easy communication in the tourism industry.
The trainees were selected from different companies in the tourism sector.
Xasa said the training will help those in the tourism sector to explain the country’s programmes and sell the country easily.
Speaking on the same occasion, Li Song, Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa, said the initiative will further cement the existing relations between the two countries.
“The roll-out of these training programmes shows that as the relations between our two countries and people grow stronger, it is increasingly important for us to do more on breaking the language barriers,” Li said.
“Such training programmes will surely improve South Africa’s service for tourists from all over the world, including Chinese travellers who will be attracted to this beautiful and amazing rainbow nation,” he said.
Susan Mphela, who owns tourism agency Suzy’s Nice Palace and Tours, told Xinhua that the initiative will help improve service for tourists.
Mphela, who speaks fluent Mandarin, has one of her employees in the Mandarin class. She said she would like to see the Department of Tourism continuing with the programme.
She said the training will make her business grow and sustainable.
Thoko Jili, a tour guide from Wisdom Travellers and Tours who is in the Russian class, told Xinhua that the language skills will boost her confidence in doing her job.
She said she will be able to welcome Russian visitors in their own language after the training course, and this will make them feel more comfortable and secure.
South Africa and China signed an agreement to cooperate in the tourism sector in 2013 and with Russia in 1998. Russia and South Africa reinforced the agreement into a stronger partnership in 2014.
|China to help Mozambique establish industrial park|
China will help Mozambique establish an industrial park as an effort to increase job opportunities in the southern African country, according to Chinese Ambassador Su Jian.
Ambassador Su told Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario in Maputo that China is willing to continue supporting the country in different domains including increasing job opportunities through the establishment of an industrial park.
The ambassador said the Chinese government would send a group of specialists to Mozambique next year to help establish the industrial park.
“Mozambican government has already identified a number of potential locations. With that defined, potential Chinese and Mozambican companies can be invited to the initial phase of the project,” said the ambassador.
China is one of the major foreign investors in Mozambique and has been implementing a number of moves that tend to help Mozambique overcome the challenges it is going through in the economic domain.
Those moves include debt relief and loans with low or no interests as part of the Chinese and Mozambique strategy to strengthen cooperation.
|China’s development fund, Kenyan gov’t sign deal on housing project|
Guests attend the launch ceremony of a new China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) office in Nairobi, capital of Kenya on Sept. 22, 2016. The China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kenyan government to develop 20,000 housing units for civil servants. (Xinhua/Li Baishun)
The China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Kenyan government to develop 20,000 housing units for civil servants.
Speaking at the launch of a new CADFund office in Nairobi, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Housing James Macharia said Chinese investments have stimulated economic growth in the east African nation.
“Kenya has witnessed huge Chinese investments in the last decade. The signing of an MoU with China-Africa Development Fund to develop 20,000 housing units for our civil servants is a testimony to our strong partnership,” Macharia said.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa and senior executives from CADFund witnessed the signing of the MoU.
Operated by the China Development Bank (CBD), CADFund’s main tasks include supporting Chinese business and investing in Africa. It has a capital reserve totaling 10 billion U.S. dollars.
So far, CADFund has enlarged its investment portfolio across Africa in areas like agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure development and industrial parks.
Macharia said Kenya is keen to partner with Chinese financial institutions to modernize transportation infrastructure and develop new residential premises.
“China’s Exim Bank and CADFund have a proven track record in infrastructure development. The setting up of CADFund offices here in Nairobi is very crucial,” Macharia remarked, adding that Kenya will strengthen engagement with the private sector to develop new roads and social amenities.
Chi Jianxin, Chairman of CADFund, said that priority will be given to development of railways, roads, ports and industrial parks in Africa. He revealed that CADFund has invested in 87 projects across 36 African countries.
…As Chinese technology fuels entrepreneur’s dream
Kenneth Giitu left formal employment in 1998 with dreams of becoming one of Kenya’s preeminent entrepreneurs.
He had worked for a prestigious chemical manufacturing firm for almost a decade before he decided to become self-employed.
He was convinced that the technical skills he had acquired from the blue chip firm would propel him to become a successful businessman.
Giitu started a small cottage industry of manufacturing chemicals required for the health-care industry.
He entered into the business of supplying Calamine lotion, surgical spirits, antiseptics, sanitizers and peroxide to the local market.
The businessman depended on raw materials sourced locally in order to make his products. However, he was unable to compete with established manufacturers who benefited from economies of scales.
“Because I bought products in small quantities I couldn’t get bulk discount and hence my business remained unprofitable,” Giitu told Xinhua in Nairobi in an interview on the sidelines of a briefing of the Kenyan business delegation which is to depart for China to attend the China Import and Export Fair, or 120th Canton Fair to be held in south China’s Guangzhou from Oct. 15.
He recalled he struggled to raise money to finance his first business trip to China over ten years ago but his efforts have paid off handsomely.
“Since I discovered Chinese technology, my business has expanded over 20 times in volume,” he said.
His business now employs over 60 staff up from two before he began sourcing raw material from the Asian nation. “I am now able to access world class technology at half the cost of sourcing from Europe,” he added.
Giitu, who is the CEO of Diarim Enterprises, travels to China at least four times a year to source for raw materials straight from Chinese manufacturers.
He told Xinhua on Saturday that Chinese technology in the health-care is now comparable to that of U.S. or Europe. “In addition, the Chinese firms tend to be more responsive to customer needs,” he added.
The entrepreneur’s latest venture is a water producing facility. In 2012, he purchased water bottling equipment from China that uses reverse osmosis to produce mineral water.
“Many people advised me against buying machinery from China because of the mistaken belief that Chinese goods are of low quality,” he revealed.
“However, ever since I installed the machine it has never failed even once,” he added.
His water products have achieved the Kenya Bureau of Standards Diamond Mark of Quality and currently enjoys a huge market share in Kenya’s crowded mineral water industry.
Giitu said he plans to use his latest trip to the Canton Fair to source for the latest Chinese technology in order to expand his business even further.
|Chinese firm awards outstanding local employees in Ethiopia|
China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) has awarded outstanding local employees in Ethiopia for their excellent performances in the past year.
Zhou Yongsheng, General Manager of CCCC Ethiopia, congratulated 60 excellent employees who had been recommended by different projects in different parts of Ethiopia, and particularly the 10 Top 10 Excellent employees out of all, because they are selected from the overall 7,000 Ethiopian employees.
Some of the excellent employees have been serving at the Company since the Company started business here in the country, while some are newly recruited in recent years along with the development of the Company in Ethiopia, said the General Manger at a awarding ceremony on Saturday in the Ethiopian capital.
He stated that the Company has carried out various mega projects in China and here in Ethiopia.
“The Company is proud to have such excellent employees like you. You have contributed all your efforts for your own projects for the overall development of the Company in Ethiopia,” noted Zhou.
Congratulating the awardee employees, Zhao Wei, Deputy Manager of CCCC East Africa, noted that his Company achieved a lot because it has many excellent employees.
The Company and its employees work together to achieve a success, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the selected excellent employees, Zeyede Tesfaye, Human Resource Manager at the Company, said it has carried out various projects including Ring Road in the capital Addis Ababa, bridges, houses, airport runway, railway and different roads projects.
He said the projects carried out by the Company have significantly contributed to the image building of the country.
“The projects undertaken by our company created job opportunities to many citizens who served their company and benefited to themselves and their families as well,” noted the Human Resource Manager.
While working with the Company, the local employees have been benefited from the Chinese experience and they have acquired new skills and knowledge, including among others in machine operating, and laboratory technique.
“Therefore, I could say that our Company is not only building our country on the construction sector, but also serving as one of the best technical school,” said Tesfaye.
Tsehaye Ayalneh and Abraham Gebremedhin are among the top 10 employees, who are working with the Weldiya-Mekelle Railway Project.
They told Xinhua that the award encourages them to do harder and further improve their performance at the Company.
Tsehaye said, “I am very happy to be selected one of the top excellent local employees; and in the future (to be) with full devotion and in very nice attitude.”
Tsehaye also stated that the Chinese and local employees have good working relations.
“I am very happy; today is one of my best days in which I am very pleased. We have been working with the Company long, and it did the awards; so, I am very happy and it encourages me work harder and even to achieve more,” said Abraham on his part.
|Nigeria keen on cooperation with Chinese investors|
Nigeria needs to partner with Chinese investors to bridge the country’ s huge financing gap in the areas of consumer industries, agriculture, infrastructure and telecoms, a top official said last month.
China had a lot to offer Nigeria in terms of trade, investment and financing of energy projects, said Aisha Abubakar, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment.
The minister spoke in Abuja, the country’s capital city at the Nigerian Investment and Financing Summit, organized by the Government of Jiangxi Province, China; Export-Import Bank of China, Jiangxi Branch, in collaboration with the Nigeria-China Business Council.
She said there were many states and industries that were moribund and which were looking for funds to tackle the challenges of growth and development.
The Nigerian official told her audience that the government had developed policy on the longstanding power shortage in Nigeria and would, henceforth, provide the necessary support for businesses willing to invest in the country.
She said over the past two decades, China had become an important partner in Nigeria’ s growth and development.
The minister said the demand of the middle class and the initiative of the Nigerian government had helped investments and opportunities in industry that extended beyond the jurisdictional destination of oil and gas.
She said government had developed stronger public private partnership for roads, Agriculture and power.
The minister added that the government had also entered into a number of bilateral investments promotion and protection agreements to further encourage investment in the country.
Earlier, Li Yin, vice president of the Chinese People’ s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said the group was committed to promoting and deepening relationship between Nigeria and China.
Li said the group and the Chinese government were concerned about ensuring development across the local governments in Nigeria, especially as they were closer to the people and capable of making meaningful impact on the lives of the people.
The Deputy Governor of Katsina State, Mannir Yakubu, representatives of Abia and Delta States also attended the summit in order to woo investors to invest in their respective states.
|…As Ethiopia sees China as a serious development partner: ministe|
Ethiopia sees China as a serious development partner, says Ethiopian State Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation Ahmed Shide.
The Ethiopian minister made the remarks at a reception co-hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia and the Mission to the African Union (AU) late last month to mark the 67th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
The heroes and heroines of China, in the 1930s and 40s, made the historic long march to bring peace, equality, and justice to their great nation, which culminated in the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he said.
“Ever since the succeeding generations, through relentless struggle, have not only pulled hundreds of millions of Chinese out of abject poverty, and enabled them to meet their dire needs, but also successfully put their great nation on irreversible development path,” said the minister.
“Hence, this day is indeed, memorable for the Chinese people and the world at large,” he noted.
Stating that Ethiopia and China enjoy a longstanding and wide-ranging strategic comprehensive partnership, Ahmed said China has played an exemplary role in supporting Ethiopia’s relentless struggle to extricate its people out of poverty and to transform its economy.
“Ethiopia sees China as a serious development partner and has keen desire to strengthen and deepen the existing excellent relationship between our two countries, most importantly this partnership based on mutual respect and win-win benefit,” said the minister.
He also stated that Ethiopia and China are supporting each other on regional and global matters of common interest and contribute immensely to world peace and equitable development.
With a photograph exhibition, the reception was attended by senior government officials of Ethiopia and the pan-Africa bloc as well as diplomats, heads and representatives of different organizations.
In his remarks during the event, Kuang Weilin, Head of Chinese Mission to AU, noted that the great strides China has made since its reform and opening up process have changed the destination of the Chinese people, and also significantly contributed to global peace and prosperity.
“Over the past 67 years, China has witnessed remarkable economic and social achievements. Gone are the days when China was poor, weak and divided,” said the envoy.
Despite challenges at home and abroad, he said China remains committed to deepening reforms and opening up to ensure sound and sustainable economic growth.
He also reiterated that China is focusing on structural reforms, innovation, new technology, and new industries like the “Internet”, among others, which has provided new driving forces for the country’s sustainable development.
With economic growth of 6.7 percent during the first half of this year, which is not small accomplishment in light of the sheer size of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the current global economy, China plays its role as a key engine of the world economy.
“China has contributed to the world economic growth by 30 percent last year. As the fundamentals of China’s economy remain sound and the general trend is rather promising, we are confident that China can maintain medium-to-high growth rate in the years to come, which will undoubtedly boost recovery of the world economy,” noted Kuang.
|Sierra Leone’s Confucius Institute celebrates 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties|
The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the Confucius Institute of the University of Sierra Leone have held a ceremony to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.
The event was attended by the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Victor Foh, and cabinet ministers. It features performances by students and lecturers from China’s Gannan Normal University and the Confucius Institute.
Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo noted that though Sierra Leone and China are far apart geographically, that does not prevent them from sharing their experiences.
A highlight of the night’s performances was a student group dance and the presentation of the calligraphic writing “long and lasting friendship between China and Sierra Leone”, done by a lecturer from Gannan Normal University, to the Vice President.
Foh described the performance as a “remarkable symbol for cultural exchange between Sierra Leone and China”.
Chinese foundation fights poachers in Zimbabwe with eagle eyes
A charitable organization set up by Chinese nationals in Zimbabwe is helping protect the country’s wildlife with new equipment and technologies, including a microlight aircraft that can recognize poachers from above.
The Sino-Zimbabwe Wildlife Foundation has employed several anti-poaching equipment and is working closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to fight poachers in Mana Pools National Park in the northern part of the country, the foundation’s chief executive Francesco Marconati has said.
He said since the establishment of the Foundation a year ago, it had managed to acquire anti-poaching equipment that include a small boat to patrol in the Zambezi River and a two-seat microlight aircraft to conduct surveillance in the 2,196-square-kilometer game reserve.
“The microlight aircraft is doing very good work. It can fly very low and is able to do surveillance in the whole game reserve,” Marconati said.
“If there is a signal of poachers on any part of the game park, the aircraft can fly there and direct the park rangers on the ground where the poachers are. It can also push away poachers from the Zambezi River,” he added.
The game park, which is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, boasts of a wide range of animals including elephants and lions, over 350 bird species and aquatic life.
The vast park is a major target of poachers from neighboring Zambia, who usually use canoes to cross the Zambezi River at night and get into the park.
Marconati said the poachers were highly organized and equipped, and required strong and well-equipped anti-poaching units to repel them. Two Chinese volunteers had been in the country for the past six months training local staff on how to fly the microlight aircraft, he said.
Working on a voluntary basis, the Foundation only offers help when asked to do so by the National Parks. The assistance it offers includes surveillance in the park and the river and lifting of carcasses.
“When doing our work, we are always accompanied by park officials to avoid misunderstandings,” he said.
To beef up its anti-poaching efforts, the Foundation recently imported from Italy a two-seat aircraft to expand the area it covers to the entire Zambezi Valley.
“The aircraft is now being fitted together after it was dismantled in Italy to make it possible to transport it. After one month, we expect the aircraft to start protecting not only Mana Pools but the whole Zambezi Valley,” he said.
A Chinese non-governmental organization, Blue Sky Rescue, had pledged to provide another bigger aircraft that can accommodate about five people as well as more boats to boost the Foundation’s anti-poaching activities, Marconati said.
Last December, the Chinese government donated anti-poaching equipment to Zimbabwe to help it curb wildlife poaching that is rampant in its game reserves.
The equipment comprised of SUVs, pickup trucks, lorries, graders, tractors, mobile radios, tents and patrol clothing for use at Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park, the country’s largest wildlife sanctuary that has also suffered rampant elephant poaching in recent years.
|Chinese TV, movie show boosts cultural exchange with Nigeria|
Cultural exchange between China and Nigeria got another boost late last month when the “Beijing Television Dramas and Movies Broadcasting Season in Africa” was declared open in the West African country.
At least 17 Chinese movies and TV dramas of various categories, including urban comedy, love, family and adventure, are to be aired in Nigeria throughout the season.
Yang Peili, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication, told an audience at the opening ceremony in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, that the Chinese movies and TV dramas will be aired for more than 400 hours.
“The movies and TV dramas are meant to also shorten the distance between China and Africa,” Yang said.
StarTimes, a Chinese international pay TV service provider will broadcast the movies and TV dramas throughout the season in partnership with the state-run Nigeria Television Authority.
Yan Xiangdong, cultural counselor of the Embassy of China in Nigeria, said the embassy was committed to bridging the gap between Nigerian and Chinese filmmakers.
According to Yan, dramas and movies are important parts of culture and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary of Information, Culture and Tourism Ayo Adesugba also suggested that China create a room for Nigerian film productions to be aired across China.
She said this will enable filmmakers of the two countries to have strong collaborations.
Movies and TV dramas to be aired during the season include “Woman From The Family Of Swordsman”, “Love’s Bodyguard”, “Beijing Love Story”, “Back In Time” and “Crazy Neighbors.”
|Feature: Chinese investors upbeat about Kenya’s agro-chemicals market|
Chinese businessman Frank Yang’s sunny optimism about African market was reinforced during his recent visit to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where an exhibition was held.
The vice general manager of a Chinese manufacturer of agrochemicals is upbeat that venturing into the Kenyan market promises huge rewards.
During an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of a China-Africa Agrochemical Exhibition on Tuesday, Yang said his company intended to expand its footprint in Kenya where demand for farm inputs is on the rise.
“Kenya is a very strategic market for us and we are in discussions with several local partners to facilitate our entry here,” said Yang, adding that his company had already established a strong presence in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Forty Chinese firms participated in the exhibition, which was established last year, to showcase their products and explore new business opportunities in Kenya and the larger eastern African region.
Yang said his conversation with Kenyan officials and business executives shone a spotlight on bright prospects for agro-chemical industry in the country as Kenya is fast-tracking the mechanization of agriculture.
“The use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in Kenya has grown at an annual average of 10 percent. A majority of farmers are convinced that managing crop pests and diseases alongside adding nutrients to the soils is key to higher productivity,” Yang said.
He said that as Kenya and other African countries were adopting highly mechanized farming systems, demand for fertilizers and pesticides would increase.
“So far, consumption of agro-chemicals in Kenya may not be at par with global standards but it will increase tremendously in the near future,” Yang added.
Dozens of Chinese businessmen who participated in the exhibition expressed their confidence in the Kenyan market and said they would fast-track negotiations with local partners to facilitate their entry.
James Zeng, the managing director of a Chinese manufacturer of products used in farming, said the Kenyan agro-chemicals industry remained attractive to Chinese investors despite several regulatory hurdles.
“We are already doing business in West Africa and Egypt. And Kenya presents new opportunities to manufacturers of agro-chemicals,” Zeng said.
Zeng said his company was seeking a local partner in Kenya to facilitate export of compounds used in the manufacture of farm inputs.
These are signs that more Chinese firms are willing to be part of Kenya’s agricultural development. And Kenya’s stable food production to meet local and regional demand has led to an attractive market for products used in farming for Chinese businessmen.
Peter Li from another Chinese manufacturer of fertilizers said his company intended to venture into the Kenyan market where he expected good returns.
His company produces and exports water soluble fertilizer that has gained traction across Africa where governments are promoting soil regeneration using organic matter.
Li said water soluble fertilizers promise higher yields without compromising the health of soils, water sources and other vital ecosystems.
“The use of water soluble fertilizers by Kenyan farmers is a brilliant choice since it will reverse salinity in soils and boost crop yield,” Li said.
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Willy Bett, who attended the exhibition, said Kenya had created a friendly policy and environment to attract Chinese investment in the agro-chemicals market.
“Kenya has been collaborating with China in the field of agriculture to enhance productivity of this sector. We encourage Chinese investors to explore our agro-chemical industry that has potential for growth,” Bett said.
Kenya is a regional hub for manufacturing and exports of agro-chemicals thanks to its strategic position, supportive infrastructure like roads, seaports and power.
“China is a leading producer and exporter of fertilizers and chemicals for management of crop diseases and pests. The country can help us develop our own agro-chemicals industry,” Bett said.
Ma Chunyan, an official from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, a trade body backed by the Chinese government, said that Kenya was among leading importers of products used in farming from China.
“In 2015, Kenya and Tanzania imported from China pesticides worth 900,000 U.S. dollars. This is a clear indication the local and regional market for agro-chemicals is yet to be tapped fully,” Ma said.
She added that Chinese firms were ready to offer technical and financial support to catalyze agricultural transformation in Africa.
|China offers 69 Afghan students university scholarship|
A teacher at the Pakistan Embassy College in Beijing with students
China has offered 69 Afghan students scholarship awards to pursue various degree in Chinese language programs this year, as the two countries seek to boost educational exchanges and cooperation.
On Wednesday, some 56 students of Chinese language major from Confucius Institute at Kabul University, out of total students awarded, flew to China.
Education is one of the important areas of cooperation between the two countries, Raihana Popalzai, vice chancellor academic affairs of Kabul University, told the students at a pre-departure ceremony held for the beneficiaries on Monday.
Expressing gratitude to the Chinese government for extending scholarship opportunity to Afghan students, Popalzai urged the awardees to seize the opportunity to study hard.
She hoped the students could help further enhance the ties between the two peoples by having a good command of the Chinese language.
Established in 2008, the Confucius Institute has enrolled 321 local students learning Chinese and among them, 80 have graduated successfully.
Some 246 students of Chinese Department of Confucius Institute at Kabul University had benefited from scholarship offered by the Chinese government over the past eight years, according to Confucius Institute officials.
|China has walked the talk to help refugees, migrants: Zambian experts|
Experts in Zambia have welcomed China’s latest move to further promote international humanitarian causes.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told a UN summit in New York late last month that China will provide 100 million U.S. dollars in additional humanitarian aid to help solve problems brought about by massive movement of refugees and migrants.
It was “heartening” to hear the Chinese leader’s pledge of contribution to help refugees and migrants who are fleeing their countries in the Middle East and Africa, said Dr Vernon Mwaanga, Zambia’s former foreign affairs minister and ambassador to the UN, in an interview with Xinhua.
“This is commendable and consistent with Chinese government policy of helping people who are in distress all over the world,” said Mwaanga.
“China has walked the talk, by doing something practical” to help these people,” he added.
The refugee and migrant problem being witnessed in Europe was unprecedented since the end of World War Two and requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders, said Mwaanga.
The Southern Africa Center for the Construction of Disputes (SACCORD), an organization involved in conflict management in the region, also commended China’s move.
“We welcome the announcement by China and we believe that this will go a long way in dealing with the problem of refugees and migrants who have been displaced due to wars in certain parts of the country,” said SACCORD director Boniface Chembe to Xinhua.
“We would like other big powers to emulate China and do more in order to deal with the problem of migrants which has become a global phenomenon,” said Chembe.
The director said that enhanced cooperation to address the problem of mass movement of migrants and refugees was required in order to find lasting solutions to the problem.
China’s call for enhanced international cooperation should be supported by all concerned countries, said Chembe.
China, he said, has been a good supporter of humanitarian works in the world.
Even during the period when it had challenges of its own, the Asian nation was keen to support others in humanitarian needs, said Chembe, citing the example of its financial support for the construction of a joint railway line between Tanzania and Zambia in the 1970s.
|New vessel from China to enhance Nigerian Navy’s response to security challenges – official|
Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel heads to Nigeria from China after construction
The Nigerian Navy will intensify its operation in protecting strategic areas on the country’s water ways as it acquires a new vessel from China to combat militant activities, an official has said.
Spokesperson for the Navy Cor Ezekobe said in a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos that the Nigerian Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) NNS UNITY, which was constructed in China, has been completed and on her way to join the Nigerian Navy fleet.
The new vessel would strengthen the efforts against all maritime crimes and illegalities in the nation’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea in general, he added.
According to him, areas hitherto that were unable to be covered by other Navy ships will now be covered by NNS UNITY which will no doubt enhance the Navy’s effectiveness and responsiveness to the maritime security challenges within Nigeria’s waters.
The Navy spokesperson added that NNS UNITY en-route Nigeria will pay port calls on some ports of friendly nations before arriving in the West African country.
Ezekobe said this will further boost the existing cordial relationship with sister navies around the world and the Gulf of Guinea in particular.
NNS UNITY departed China on Wednesday and is expected to arrive in Nigeria in the first week of November.
The Nigerian Navy has reiterated its commitment to defending the country’s territorial waters for economic prosperity in line with its zero tolerance to maritime illegalities.
|S/Africa sees highest July tourist arrival growth from China|
For overseas markets, South Africa saw the highest increase in tourist arrivals from China by 64 percent for July 2016, the Department of Tourism has said.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting South Africa increased from 5,402 in July 2015 to 8,858 in July this year, the department said in its latest update on tourism arrivals.
China replaced India by moving from 16th place to become South Africa’s 15th source market, said Victor Tharage, Director-General of the Department of Tourism.
This came after South Africa relaxed visa regulations, allowing tour operators to apply for visas for Chinese tourists.
When comparing July 2016 with July 2015, the increase in tourist arrivals for the following regions are: Asia increased by 47.7 percent, followed by Middle East (35.1 percent), North America (26.1 percent), Central and South America (24.4 percent), Europe (17.5 percent), Australia (16.4 percent). The least increase was recorded in Africa including Indian Ocean Islands (nine percent).
Lesotho was the largest African source market, while the USA was the largest overseas source market for South Africa. Compared to July 2015, the Netherlands moved from the 9th to 8th as a source market replacing Namibia.
“We are greatly encouraged that all regions are experiencing an increase in tourist arrivals,” said Tharage.
“This can only serve to motivate both government and the tourism industry to increase its efforts in terms of marketing the country as a value for money destination, ensuring that once tourists arrive, they receive excellent service across the board,” he said.
|Chinese, African officials, experts meet on poverty reduction, development|
Government officials and experts from China and African countries discussed poverty reduction and production capacity cooperation at a conference held late, last month.
On the first day of the Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference, more than 150 participants including representatives from nongovernmental organizations and enterprises from China and 14 African countries like Mauritius, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique and Togo, also shared experience in industrial development while talking about ways to deepen China-Africa exchange and cooperation in anti-poverty efforts.
The conference is an important sub-forum under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. Attending the conference were also representatives from international institutions such as the United Nations Development Program, the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States.
In his opening remarks made at the conference, senior Chinese official Hong Tianyun highlighted measures China will adopt to lift all those Chinese still living below China’s current poverty line out of poverty by 2020.
He also expressed China’s willingness to help other developing countries, in particular African countries, in reducing poverty.
“We will work closely with the 1.1 billion African people” for joint development to promote the economic integration and sustainable development of Africa and build an Africa-China community with a common future free of poverty, said Hong, deputy director of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development of China, which co-sponsored the conference.
In his speech, Pradeep Roopun, Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment of Mauritius, voiced his confidence in China’s capability to help in Africa’s socioeconomic transformation, citing its practical approach, flexible policy, advanced technology and investment.
During the conference’s next two days to come, African participants are scheduled to have dialogues with Chinese businesses on production capacity cooperation and visit local enterprises.
|Kenya seeks Chinese investment to develop agro-chemicals industry|
Kenya has created a friendly policy and environment to attract Chinese investment in the agro-chemicals market, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Willy Bett, said the next phase of Sino-Kenya agricultural cooperation will focus on development of a robust fertilizer and pesticide manufacturing sector.
“Kenya has been collaborating with China in the field of agriculture to enhance productivity of this sector. We encourage Chinese investors to explore our agro-chemical industry that has potential for growth,” Bett said.
He was speaking in Nairobi during the opening of the 2nd China-Africa Agro-chemicals Summit and Exhibition attended by policymakers, regulators and industry executives.
An estimated 40 Chinese firms are showcasing their products at the two-day exhibition.
Kenya wants strengthen partnership with China in the areas of research, technology and skills transfer in order to create a vibrant agro-chemicals industry, Bett said.
“China is a leading producer and exporter of fertilizers and chemicals for management of crop diseases and pests. The country can help us develop our own agro-chemicals industry,” said Bett.
Kenya is keen on adopting China’s technology and innovations to boost production of environmental-friendly pesticides and fertilizers, he said.
He added that Kenya’s regulatory agencies had streamlined issuance of permits to encourage foreign direct investment in the agro-chemicals industry.
Evelyn Lusenaka, CEO of the Agro-chemicals Association of Kenya, said the market for farm inputs like fertilizers and pesticides have bright prospects as Kenya is trying to modernize the agriculture sector.
“We have witnessed a rapid growth of agro-chemicals industry in Kenya as food production systems become highly mechanized. There is need to encourage more external players to invest in this sector,” Lusenaka said.
|…As key partner in Africa’s agriculture development|
China is playing a significant role towards transformation of Africa’s agriculture sector, which has contributed to food and nutrition security and poverty reduction on the continent.
Attaher Maiga, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Country Representative to Rwanda, said this in an interview with Xinhua Tuesday at the ongoing African Regional Forum on Agriculture for Sustainable Development in Kigali.
“Agriculture holds the key to economic growth, poverty reduction and food security in Africa. Agricultural growth is an important component of China’s economic relations with African countries,” Maga said.
Last December, China promised to offer about 60 billion U.S. dollars to Africa to enhance the continent’s economic transformation, industrialization and technological development.
The Chinese government announced that it will roll out 10 major cooperation plans that will strengthen cooperation with Africa within the next three years.
“China is partnering with African economies to transform agriculture into a modern and dynamic sector. Chinese government has supported Africa’s agriculture growth through a multitude of activities in areas such as investment, capacity building, infrastructure development, innovations and research,” said Maga.
The three-day conference, organized by FAO, aims at discussing how the principles for sustainable food and agriculture can promote joint action to strengthen the contribution of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to sustainable development.
Africa needs about 400 billion U.S. dollars of investment in food production over the next decade to meet the continent’s needs, according to FAO.
|China releases funds for Zimbabwe new parliament building|
China has released an initial tranche of 46 million U.S. dollars for the construction of a new parliament building in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, a Zimbabwe official has said.
“The Chinese government has released 46 million dollars for the new parliament building in Mt. Hampden and right now work has started on road construction and we hope that after two and half years the new parliament will have been completed,” Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda was quoted as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper on Tuesday.
China has pledged to construct the building for free. The new 650-seat parliament building will replace the current one that was said to be too small for parliamentary business.
The speaker said space shortages in the current parliament building, constructed during the colonial era, were forcing many legislators to conduct business while standing in aisles.
“The current parliament that we are using can only cater for 120 people but now we have more than 270 legislators, so there is a serious shortage of space in the House,” he said.
The new parliament building is being built in Mt. Hampden, 18 km northwest of Harare and the site for a proposed new and modern city to replace the current capital.
|China’s Cultural Day in Cairo reflects bilateral cultural interaction: official|
The Chinese Cultural Day held here on Tuesday in Cairo reflects more bilateral cultural interaction and stronger ties, a Chinese official said.
Organized by the Egyptian Syndicate of Journalists in cooperation with the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo, the event featured a number of Chinese cultural activities including the “Beautiful China” photo gallery, stage performances of martial arts as well as a documentary film on China’s eastern city of Hangzhou that hosted the G20 Summit earlier in September.
“Many cultural activities have been held to mark the Chinese-Egyptian cultural year,” said Chen Dongyun, cultural counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Cairo, stressing the momentum will continue even after the cultural year.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi agreed during the latter’s visit to Beijing in late 2014 to mark 2016 as the Chinese-Egyptian cultural year and they both witnessed its launching ceremony in Luxor during Xi’s visit to Egypt in January.
A symposium has also been held during the Chinese Cultural Day to discuss the results of the G20 summit with Egypt’s participation as a guest of honor at the invitation of the Chinese president.
“President Sisi’s participation in the summit will have a great positive effect on the Chinese-Egyptian relations in political, economic, cultural and technological fields,” Chen said.
Adel Sabry, chief of an Egyptian news website, highlighted the “historical cultural interaction” between China and the Arab world in general and Egypt in particular.
“This cultural interaction greatly enhances economic and political cooperation in favor of the peoples of both countries,” said Sabry.
He also stressed Egypt’s strategic location as a key African and Arab portal for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Launched by President Xi in 2013, the main idea of the initiative is to revive ancient land and maritime trade routes to link China with over 60 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe through the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
|Africa: U.S.$ 30 Billion Pledge Boosts Hopes for Farming in Africa|
Prospects for agriculture in Africa took a huge boost Conference last month as leaders, business people and major development partners pledged more than 30 billion US dollars in investments to expedite transformation of the sector.
The collective pledges at the African Green Revolution Forum in Nairobi, Kenya, mark a major breakthrough in efforts to transform agriculture, the mainstay of the economies of most of African countries, to become the key driver of growth.
The pledges believed to represent the largest package of financial commitment to agricultural sector in Africa to date, will be directed to increase production, income and employment for small scale farmers and local African agricultural businesses over the next ten years.
The commitments were made at the official opening of the Sixth African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) that attracted more than 1,500 influential figures from 40 countries for three days of brokering new agricultural initiatives.
The historic investments represent just the first wave of support for the new ‘Seize the Moment’ campaign one backed by the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the African Development Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), key NGOs, companies and donor countries. While agriculture in Africa has seen significant progress in the last ten years, the ‘Seize the Moment’ campaign.
A frank acknowledgement that much more is needed for African countries to achieve inclusive economic development and ultimately realise the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The campaign is a decisive push for the political, policy and financial commitments essential to transform Africa’s agricultural sector. The goal is to make agriculture a new era of business opportunities for the 70 per cent of African population that depend on farming for food and income, yet too often face poverty and poor nutrition.
Addressing reporters, the President of the African Development Bank and a former Ministerof Agriculture in Nigeria, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said he was excited with the trend of events in the agriculture sector.
“I have been into agriculture for a very long time and this is the time that everything seems to be coming together on finance, technology, institutions and political will to drive the change. We can be more excited than to be here,” he stated.
“The transformation of Africa will only work if we transform agriculture,” said Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, during his address at the opening ceremony of the forum.
“Because we are coming together at a time when our continent is filled with incredible opportunity, but at the same time it also is faced with profound threats in almost equal measure,” he said.
President Kenyatta stepped forward as one of the first champions of the “Seize the Moment” campaign with a commitment by his government to invest $200 million so at least 150,000 young farmers and young agriculture entrepreneurs could gain access to markets, finance and insurance.
The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, joined Kenyatta on stage to spur leaders on the continent and around the world to harness the potential of agriculture to fight hunger and poverty in Africa.
Leaders of the G20 at the 2016 summit, September 4 and Sept 5 at Hangzhou (China).
[PHOTO] Leaders arriving for the opening ceremony of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, China
[PHOTO] Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa speaks during the reception celebrating the 67th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China in Nairobi, Kenya
|Africa on the agenda China’s G20 Summit|
The G20 Hangzhou Summit held recently in China was a historical achievement. It is rare to hear Africa and Least Developing Countries, which nowadays are known as low income countries, featuring as the world agenda.
However this was the case in the conference which to many had achieved substance. We must have read or heard positive commentaries from different news channels and print media as well as online reports filed from around the world.
So perhaps it’s important to ask ourselves why this Summit was able to make a historical record and achievements in which there was the G20 Initiative on supporting industrialization in Africa and LDC’s.
The fact that the Summit was able to unanimously adopt the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth shows that it is a step in the right direction.
The fact that President Jinping is known already to have advanced his philosophy of good blueprint, in his closing remarks are very much in line with this principle.
In his book; The Governance of China, the President reminds the world that, “There is no use in saying,” I won’t get the credit for success.” His argument is very convincing and perhaps should be adopted in implementing the G20 Summit Blueprint to make it a good one.
He emphasizes that, “if a blueprint is good, factually based, scientifically sound and well-received by the people we should keep working on it, one administration after another and the outcome of our work will be real and appreciated and remembered by the people.”
So those who are touting negative views about the outcome of the Summit should be ignored, and challenged.
It is obvious that the G20 Initiative should be owned by every country in the world. It should be a collective effort across the board where high level deliberations on the way forward should take place.
Globally every country should be able to share the spirit of the said initiative on industrialization with others. It is important to know that G20 Initiative is a legacy that our nations want to leave behind for the next generation.
I want to take this opportunity to challenge the G20 to go beyond the just concluded talks and translate these principles that were discussed in the Summit into action. Thus, the need to make sure every country owns this good blue print philosophy.
In our country’s context when President John Pombe Magufuli was elected into office last year, in his inaugural speech he expressed his commitment to transform Tanzania into an industrial reality.
Was it a coincidence or that through his visionary leadership he could read the signs of time? The philosophy of industrialization is again coming up, from President Jinping who has emphasized on the need to address the global economic imbalance through industrialization among others. However, the president outlined five achievements of the Summit in his speech at the G20 closing ceremony.
President Jinping said that China is determined to point the way and set the course for the world economy. “We share the view that the world economic recovery remains weak, weighed down by insufficient drivers of growth and negative impact of regional and international hot-spots and global challenges,” he said.
He further emphasized that it was crucial to maintain peace and stability and foster an enabling environment for world economic development.
Another important emphasis is that China is determined to break a new path for growth and instill new dynamism into the world economy, Says President Jinping. “We have unanimously adopted the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth.
“It reflects our desire to find the right pathway toward sustained and healthy growth of the world economy, capitalize on the new opportunities brought about by innovation, the new industrial revolution, digital economy and other new factors and business types, and flesh out a series of specific action plans,” he said.
According to him, another achievement is the global determination to improve global economic and financial governance to enhance the resilience of the world economy.
“We agree to advance the quota and governance reform of international financial institutions, broaden the use of SDR, strengthen the Global Financial Safety Net and make the international monetary system more stable and resilient.
We resolve to implement various financial reforms, closely monitor and address the underlying risks and vulnerability of the financial system, deepen cooperation on financial inclusion, green financing and climate fund, and jointly maintain stability in international financial markets,” stressed President Jinping. Further, President Jinping added that China is determined to revitalize international trade and investment as key engines of growth, and build an open world economy.
“We agree to fully leverage the role of the Trade Ministers’ Meeting and the Trade and Investment Working Group,” he said.
The final initiative that was supported by China is the determination to promote inclusive and interconnected development, so that G20 cooperation will deliver benefits to the whole world.
“For the first time, we have given priority to development in the global macro-policy framework.
For the first time, we have devised a groundbreaking Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “We agree to take the lead in implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to encourage its early entry into effect.
“We have proposed the G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialization in Africa and LDCs, made an Entrepreneurship Action Plan, adopted the Global Infrastructure Connectivity Alliance Initiative, and decided to deepen cooperation in such areas as food security and inclusive business,” he said.
But again the propositions on the four key points for global economic governance are in line with President Jinping world vision.
It is clear that it outlines the four most crucial issues which cannot be ignored by the world.
There is no doubt that we have to heed to the proposition that building an innovative world economy to generate new drivers of growth cuts across all countries in the world, regardless of their ideologies. Let’s visit President Jinpings advice on Man with a World Vision, in his Book: The Governance of China (Page 490).
People who have been reading his philosophies and Confucius’ Literature are not surprised to learn that he presented to the world such significant propositions. But for those who have read his book, it was the same philosophy that he shared with foreign experts working in China.
These elements show that the People Republic of China as a responsible country does not only care about her own economic growth, but wants to go together to ensure that there is equity for all the countries.
It resonates with an African saying that if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go together.
Bravo President Jinping, for such a proposal. President Jinping also makes a very valid point on his second proposition that there should be an open world economy to expand the scope of development. China is walking the talk as we can witness today that all those who are interested to invest in China have been welcomed.
It means that there is a need to heed his advice that it is a question of reciprocity, which means that countries need to know more about one another whether working at the local level or with the central leadership.
This is in line with President Jinping socialist spirit that is based on valuing international exchanges and making foreign friends, which should be the spirit for all these countries so that it can create a friendly business environment for cross border development. The third proposition is another milestone that countries should build an interconnected world economy to forge interactive synergy.
President Jinping is frank on this since he has repeatedly said that the global community is becoming increasingly integrated and we all share the same destiny. Therefore, it is evident that global rapid development depends on world peace and development.
This interconnectedness provides opportunities for other countries to develop, so together we can achieve mutually beneficial results and share benefits through mutual respect and pragmatic cooperation.
If these three elements are achieved it is easy for the global economy to remain inclusive and therefore there will be an opportunity to create a foundation for win-win situation.
Win-win in the sense that countries should work together to establish a more equitable and balanced global partnership, which can avert international conflicts and even cross border troubles.
So as to safeguard the common interests of all of humanity and make the earth a better place, which we might have read and also believe that it is Jinping’s philosophy of International cooperation.
In conclusion China’s G20 Summit was both big on show and was able to deliver a good blue print.
This is what we can term as responsible global economic governance, which can be put into test by checking the behavior of global powers not showing any temptation of seeking economic hegemony but fostering win-win economic partnership. But I could be wrong.
|Leaders, Others Discuss African Investment Opportunities At China Summit|
The promotion of investment cooperation in Africa was the topic of a high-level forum on investment in Africa held in Xiamen on the sidelines of the 2016 China International Fair for Investment and Trade.
Nigerian participants along with others across the continent recognised the Programmes for Country Partnership, which the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is currently implementing in Ethiopia and Senegal, as a successful assistance model. Each programme is a multi-stakeholder partnership which aims to increase large-scale public and private investment in order to accelerate national industrial development agendas.
Co-organised by UNIDO, the Ministry of Commerce and the Fujian Provincial Government of China, the forum brought together senior decision-makers from China, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Senegal, as well as representatives from the private sector, academia and other international agencies.
Participants highlighted the significant contribution of industry to job creation and poverty eradication, calling it “a motor for overall growth and prosperity”, and for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa and globally.
They stressed that governments need to create an enabling environment for investors, and that localisation strategies and environmental protection need to be highlighted. The need to increase investment in high-value added activities and sectors in order to provide opportunities for social inclusion was also emphasised. Such investments support gender equality, empower women and girls, and create decent employment for young people. This in turn will contribute to long-term growth and structural change in Africa.
The forum was organised in support of the recently adopted United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, and the recently endorsed G20 Initiative on Supporting Industrialisation in Africa and Least Developed Countries.
Speaking at the event, LI Yong, the Director General of UNIDO, stressed that the Organisation, which is mandated to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development, has for many years been implementing technical cooperation projects and promoting investment across Africa. UNIDO’s flagship Programmes for Country Partnership have already achieved impressive results since their launch in 2014, said Li.
At the event, UNIDO also presented a new report on growth identification and facilitation for industrial upgrading and diversification, prepared in collaboration with the National School of Development at Peking University.
The report, written by a team led by former World Bank Chief Economist, Professor Justin Lin, examines Senegal’s key sectors and provides recommendations for achieving “quick wins” based on international market opportunities. It is a key component of UNIDO’s Programme for Country Partnership for Senegal.
As a follow-up to the event in Xiamen, two upcoming events will also provide platforms to present specific investment opportunities in Africa. From 5 to 7 October, the International Agro-Industry Investment Forum will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and from 14 to 15 November, Dakar, Senegal, will host UNIDO’s fifth Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development Forum.
During the Xiamen Fair an exhibition on UNIDO-China cooperation was also held to mark the Organisation’s 50th anniversary.
China donates rice to drought-hit Zimbabwe
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping speaks during a ceremony to receive rice donated by China in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, on Sept. 15, 2016. Zimbabwe on Thursday received rice from China to help alleviate hunger after a drought that has left up to 4 million Zimbabweans in need of food aid. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuliang)
Zimbabwe has received rice from China to help alleviate hunger after a drought that has left up to 4 million Zimbabweans in need of food aid.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Ping handed over 5,500 tonnes of rice that have arrived in the country, which is part of the total 19,000 tonnes worth 24.6 million U.S. dollars donated by the Chinese government to Zimbabwe.
In his remarks, Huang said the donation was in fulfillment of the drought relief pledge made to affected African countries by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held in South Africa last December.
“Today’s event again testifies the strong ties between China and Zimbabwe as all-weather partners, especially in the area of food security and agriculture,” he said.
China had provided five consignments of emergency food aid to Zimbabwe over the last 10 years worth millions of U.S. dollars to help the country cope with food shortages, he added.
He said in support of Zimbabwe’s efforts to ensure national food security, China would this year donate 10,000 tonnes of urea fertilizer to benefit farmers who will take part in a government maize production scheme targeting to produce 2 million tonnes of maize.
Zimbabwean Minister of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Prisca Mupfumira, who received the rice on behalf of government, thanked China for the donation.
She said the rice would be distributed to vulnerable groups who include orphans and the elderly.
“The Government of Zimbabwe is indeed grateful for your donation as this will go a long way in alleviating food shortages among vulnerable groups,” the minister said.
She said Zimbabwe would take long to recover from the impact of the El-Nino induced drought, and appealed for more humanitarian support to help the country cope with food shortages.
|China’s Belt and Road initiaive to unleash global prosperity: Kenyan scribe|
The Belt and Road initiative being championed by China will unleash global prosperity through increased cross border trade, cultural interactions and skills transfer, a Kenyan scribe said on Friday.
Charles Kerich, an editor with a local daily, The Star Newspaper, said in a commentary that China’s Belt and Road initiative will have profound impact on economies and livelihoods across a large swathe of Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 launched the initiative to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.
Kerich who recently visited China hailed China’s move to revive the ancient trade routes that underpinned global prosperity in the middle ages.
The China-funded standard gauge railway (SGR) in Kenya and its future stretches in other East African nations are part of the Belt and Silk initiative, he said.
China-funded mega infrastructure projects like the SGR, sea ports and highways will catalyze industrial transformation in Kenya and the larger Eastern African region, he said.
China has as of June this year signed inter-governmental cooperative agreements or memorandums of understanding with more than 40 countries and international organizations on Belt and Road projects.
Kerich said that around half of the world’s population will benefit from the Belt and Road initiative, lauding China’s commitment to the speedy implementation of the initiative.
|Chinese doctors sent for disaster relief after Tanzania quake|
A team of five Chinese doctors has been sent to Tanzania’s northwest Kagera region to help save the lives of survivors of the Saturday earthquake which killed 17 people and injured scores of others, a statement from the Chinese embassy in Dar es Salaam has said.
The statement issued by the Office of Public Diplomacy and Press Section of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania said the doctors included specialists in women, children as well as a surgeon and a general doctor.
On Tuesday, members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Tanzania and the business community contributed about 700,000 US dollars and other relief supplies to help the survivors.
Among donors at the event, the Chinese Embassy pledged 50,000 US dollars and Chinese companies doing business in Tanzania also pledged about 70,000 US dollars.
The money was used to buy tents, food and medicines that were transported to Kagera region and the Chinese doctors were expected to arrive late Wednesday or Thursday morning, the statement said.
An earthquake, measuring at a magnitude of 5.7 on the Richter scale, hit the Tanzania’s Kagera region on Saturday. It left 17 people dead and over 200 injured, while thousands of houses were damaged.
|Chinese firm wins case against airport tender cancellation by Namibian gov’t|
A Chinese construction company has won a case against the Namibian government who cancelled the company’s successful tender of a 7 billion Namibian dollar (about 500 million U.S dollars) airport expansion project.
The tender was for expanding the Hosea Kutako International Airport road. Hosea Kutako is Namibia’s biggest airport and is about 50 kilometers from Windhoek.
The tender cancellation by the government in December 2015 prompted the winning bidder, Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group, to challenge the decision in the High Court in February this year.
Namibian President Hage Geingob cancelled the tender citing irregularities in the manner it was awarded by the Namibia Airports Company.
However, the High Court on Friday ruled that the cancellation was “unlawful and therefore invalid and set aside.”
The Namibia Press Agency also reported Friday that the government suffered another setback when the High Court dismissed its counter aplication in connection with the matter.
The government was then ordered to foot the legal bills of the construction company, which include the cost of one instructing attorney and one instructed counsel, on top of having to pay its own legal representation, it reported.
In its papers, the company argued that it had already incurred costs negotiations, revisions undertaken, financing arrangements and negotiating with the Namibian workforce after winning the tender in 2014.
The company also cited time consuming processes as it took over an 18-month period just to win the tender.
The company further argued that even though Geingob decided to cancel the tender, he together with his predecessor, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba was involved in supervising the ultimate decision on the project.
The company wanted the court to review and set aside the decision by works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb to discontinue all activities related to the upgrading and expansion of the international airport.
|China steps up investment in Africa’s renewable future|
For bioenergy provider Guangdong Zhongke Tianyuan New Energy Technology (ZKTY), Africa is a wonderland.
At the 2nd Investing in Africa Forum that concluded on Thursday, the Guangzhou company signed a contract to invest in a bioenergy project in West Africa’s Sierra Leone.
The project, which uses local crops to produce ethanol and generates electricity using the crops’ remnants, is expected to bring returns for ZKTY and increased income for local farmers.
“Green development is a trend not only in China but in Africa,” said Yu Junwei, chairman of ZKTY. “Africa has so much biomass resources that we can take advantage of.”
Like ZKTY, an increasing number of Chinese firms are betting on the future of renewable energy in Africa.
According to a report by United Nations Environment Program, Chinese investment in renewable energy climbed 17 percent in 2015, making it the largest investor in renewables in the world. Much of the money flowed into Africa. From hydropower projects to bioenergy plants, Chinese companies are moving beyond investments in traditional oil and gas.
According to a 2016 report by the International Energy Agency, power plants and grids built by Chinese companies in Ethiopia, with almost 1.5 gigawatts in generation capacity, are 100 percent renewable energy.
The energy sector is essential to productivity and developing local business capacity. Private investment is vital – both foreign and domestic – to finance African infrastructure and bring affordable, reliable energy to more Africans, said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group.
Recognizing the potential for China-Africa cooperation in renewable energy, the World Bank signed a memorandum of understanding on an energy partnership Wednesday with China’s National Energy Administration at the forum.
“We hope the partnership will result in numerous co-financing of projects in Africa’s energy sectors, especially renewable energy,” said Haleh Bridi, director of external communications and partnerships at World Bank Africa Region.
China’s interest in Africa’s renewable sector is also finding support from other international institutions. United Nations Development Program, for example, has been supporting two Chinese projects in Zambia and Ghana to “ensure a more holistic transfer of renewable energy technologies from China to Africa”.
Oluniyi Robbin-Coker, Chairman of the Board at Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, said China’s growing investment in Africa’s renewable energy sector is very beneficial for the continent’s own development.
“In Sierra Leone we talk about ‘greenovation’, which is green and innovation. The world needs to become a greener place and we all have to manage our footprint,” said Robbin-Coker.
For ZKTY, the bioenergy project in Sierra Leone will not only generate clean fuels for the country’s auto industry, but also can help local farmers by purchasing waste from them to generate electricity.
“I think it’s a very meaningful project. It involves the whole industry chain and would be very beneficial to the local economy,” said Yu Junwei.
Nick Bridges, director of Sunbird Bioenergy Africa, which invested in the Sierra Leone project with ZKTY, agreed that the investment is a win-win.
“Africa has a lot of primary resources and China has a lot of technology and finance, so it’s really a perfect marriage to bring them all together and create prosperity for Chinese investors and African countries,” said said Bridges.
|Zimbabwe woos Chinese, int’l investors|
Zimbabwe has called on Chinese and international investors to invest in the country as it is undertaking ease-of-doing-business reforms to make the country attractive to foreign investment, a senior official has said.
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko made the remarks at the ongoing 19th China International Fair for Investment and Trade, which opened Thursday in Xiamen City, southeast China’s Fujian Province.
Mphoko is leading a high-level delegation comprising senior officials and small to medium scale enterprises representatives there.
“My country Zimbabwe has opportunities in agriculture, mining, tourism, and infrastructure development that we are ready to discuss with interested investors,” the vice president was quoted as saying by the state-run Herald newspaper Friday.
While China is one of the few countries bankrolling infrastructure development projects running into billions of dollars after the West imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, foreign investment into the southern African country has been significantly lower in recent years, averaging around 400 million U.S. dollars per year.
Zimbabwe is currently ranked 155 out of 189 countries in the World Bank ease-of-doing-business index for 2015 and has, with technical support from the World Bank, stepped up reform efforts in the last months to improve the investment climate and boost foreign investment.
The VP said Zimbabwe was ready to engage Chinese companies on a win-win basis in value addition projects.
He also thanked China’s National Development and Reform Commission for its support towards the revitalization of Zimbabwe’s production capacity under a framework signed last year.
Zimbabwe, he said, stood ready to work with Chinese firms in production sectors including special economic zones and industrial parks that Zimbabwe intends to set up in order to boost industrialization in the country.
Trade Minister Mike Bimha said Zimbabwe was keen to attract more foreign direct investment and technology transfer from China.
“As the second largest economy in the world, China is well placed to contribute to the industrialization and development of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Chinese companies could partner Zimbabwe in implementing its five-year economic blueprint ending in 2018 through investment in various projects, the minister added.
|Chinese video surveillance firm to establish office in Kenya|
Chinese video surveillance firm HikVision Overseas plans to set up an office in Kenya by the end of the year.
HikVision Overseas Sales Representative Bob Bian said Friday in Nairobi that the firm currently has one office in South Africa to cater for the African market.
“So the proposed Kenya office will help us serve the growing demand for video surveillance equipment in the East African region,” Bian said.
HikVision is a leading video surveillance hardware manufacturer around the world and has a wide-reaching global presence.
Bian said that the firm owns patents in the latest Closed Circuit Television technology that can help boost Kenya’s national security.
“Our camera offers ultra-high quality video that are ideal for security monitoring in high traffic areas such as highways, stadiums and shopping malls,” he said.
The firm has been able to achieve double digit growth for the past decade due to heavy annual investments in research and developments.
“We aim to introduce new innovative products in order to meet dynamic customer needs,” he added.
According to him, HikVision has also introduced a new technology that reduces the storage space needed for the same length of video recording compared to conventional equipment.
|Gambian students leave for China for studies|
Ethiopian students awarded scholarship for postgraduate study in China
The first batch of Gambian students who obtained Chinese government scholarships this year have left for China for studies.
The scholarships for 12 Gambian students were the first batch offered by the Chinese government since the two countries resumed diplomatic ties in March this year.
Chinese ambassador to Zambia Zhang Jiming, in a statement issued earlier this week, emphasized the importance of education as a key area of bilateral cooperation.
The Chinese ambassador challenged the students to work hard, pointing out that they should never forget to align their own dreams with that of their motherland, to which they are so deeply indebted and will have so much to contribute.
“I hope you all will be good ambassadors of your country, and help promote mutual understanding and friendship between our two brotherly peoples and countries,” he said.
According to him, the first group of Gambian students receiving Chinese government scholarships also showcased the benefits being fastly delivered through the newly-established ties.
“For the past few months, since China and Gambia resumed diplomatic ties, our bilateral relations have enjoyed a dynamic momentum of development”, according to the Chinese diplomat.
He disclosed that more plans and projects are in the pipeline which would lead to more benefits for the two countries and peoples.
|Ambassador Sun Xianghua Visits the Lesotho Military Academy|
On 1 September 2016, at the invitation of Lt. Gen. Tlali Kamoli, Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), H.E. Dr. Sun Xianghua, Ambassador of China to Lesotho, visited the under-construction Lesotho military Academy, which will be completed in the near future. Other members of the LDF command and heads of all departments were also present.
Dr. Sun highly commended the positive role of the LDF on safeguarding the social peace and stability, serving the people and enhancing China-Lesotho friendship. He said, the Chinese side remained committed to mutual assistance in security and stands ready to help Lesotho’s efforts in capacity-building for maintaining and strengthening peace and security under the framework of China-Africa cooperation.
Lt. Gen. Kamoli highly appreciated China’s efforts to support the efforts of African countries including Lesotho on capacity building. He was ready to further enhance friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and the two armies.
|Chinese medical team hailed in Madagascar|
A Chinese medical team doctor treats a patient in Africa. (Xinhua)
Malagasy citizens have hailed the helpful presence of the Chinese medical team in Madagascar, according to a TV documentary by Madagascar’s national television (TVM).
Patients, their family members, Malagasy doctors and government authorities testified in the documentary presented at the Chinese Embassy that the Chinese medical team mission have been very helpful for the Malagasy people.
Chinese Ambassador Yang Xiaorong said that the embassy sponsored the documentary to mark the 40 years of presence of the Chinese medical team in Madagascar.
TVM Chairman of Board of Directors Odile Raharijaona said the documentary is “a mark of good relationship between the two countries.”
Chinese medical team chief Yan Weidong said that the Chinese government is working towards improving the service of Chinese traditional medicine in Madagascar.
“The Chinese government will allocate funding to turn Mahitsy hospital into the standardized Centre in Chinese Traditional Medicine,” said Yan.
The documentary will be broadcast on Madagascar National Television, the chief of production of TVM, Zo Raharivony,
|Chinese vice premier meets Benin president|
Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai (L) meets with Beninese President Patrice Talon in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, Sept. 7, 2016. Talon is currently visiting China to attend a China-Africa investment forum. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)
BEIJING, Sep. 7 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai met Beninese President Patrice Talon in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Wednesday, calling for closer cooperation between the two countries.
Talon is currently visiting China to attend a China-Africa investment forum.
Ma said that China attaches importance to its relationship with Benin and stands ready to strengthen pragmatic cooperation and diplomatic exchanges to benefit the economic and social development of the two countries.
Talon expressed gratefulness for China’s support of his country and pledged to work with China to foster the comprehensive China-Africa strategic partnership.
Ethiopian Airlines to add flights to China’s Guangzhou
The Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will add a thrice weekly service, on top of its daily flights, to Guangzhou as of October 8 this year.
Hence forth, Ethiopian will operate 11 weekly flights to and from Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, the airline said in a statement on Monday.
“We are pleased to launch more frequency to Guangzhou, one of the largest Chinese cities. Ethiopian has become the airline of choice among travelers between China, Africa and Brazil,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of the Ethiopian Airlines.
“For sure, this move will play a significant role to the growing economic and people-to-people ties between Africa and China,” he said.
According to the CEO, the airline now operates 31 weekly flights to four gateways in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Ethiopian is among the fastest growing and most profitable African airlines. The statement said the airline operates the youngest fleet with an average of less than 5 years and currently serving 93 international destinations with over 240 daily departures
Xi congratulates on Lungu’s re-election as Zambian president
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to incumbent Zambian President Edgar Lungu to congratulate him on his re-election as Zambian president.
In the message sent to Lungu on Monday, Xi expressed his wish that the Zambian government and people would score greater achievements in Zambia’s national construction under Lungu’s leadership.
Xi stressed that he highly values the traditional friendship and bilateral relations between China and Zambia and that he would work together with his Zambian counterpart to constantly enhance China-Zambia ties and bring more benefits to the two countries and the two peoples.
Zambians voted in presidential, parliamentary and local government elections on Aug. 11. The country’s electoral body announced incumbent President Edgar Lungu as the winner of the presidential election.
[PHOTO]Xi urges China, Britain to deepen mutual trust, cooperation
Kenya launches new strategy to fight extremism, terrorism
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday launched a new strategy to help in the fighting against extremism and terrorism in the East African nation.
Kenyatta said the National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism articulates Kenya’s efforts to prevent terrorism and violent extremism.
“This has resulted in a sharp increase in operational tempo, coordination and equipment aimed at detecting, deterring and disrupting the activities of terrorists,” he said during the launch of the strategy in Nairobi.
The strategy, which will be implemented by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, will rally all sections of government, communities, civil society, the private sector and international partners in the war against terror.
Kenyatta said the launch of the strategy comes on the back of increased investments by the government in technology, skills and innovative approaches to countering terrorism.
He said the new strategy will add prevention and counter radicalization to the more traditional security approaches to fight the vice.
He said rehabilitation of foreign terrorist fighters who completely disavow the use of violence and adherence to the ideology and aims of terrorist groups is one of the crucial tasks being addressed by the new strategy.
Kenyatta also appointed Ambassador Martin Kimani, who heads the National Counter Terrorism Centre, as Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism.
The National Counter Terrorism Centre is the focal point and coordination centre for the anti-terror strategy.
Kenyatta urged all Kenyans to work together to deny violent extremists the room to radicalize their compatriots.
“Together, in coordinated fashion, we must as a people drain the swamp of violent extremism and deny it room to radicalize Kenyans,” said the President when he launched the report during a live media briefing.
President Kenyatta said he was confident that the new strategy was a critical step in protecting and advancing liberty and prosperity of Kenyans.
“Its lessons will be visible to all, and I look forward to their being shared with the region and the world as we look to build a just and peaceful international order,” he said.
|China is great partner in promoting Africa’s regional integration: Comesa chief|
China is playing a key role in promoting regional integration by supporting infrastructural developments in Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) member states, says Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
In an interview with Xinhua at the sidelines of the Global African Investment Summit in Rwanda capital Kigali, Ngwenya noted that China’s contribution to regional integration was boosting intra-African trade on the continent.
Rwanda hosts the high level investment forum from 5th to 6th September 2016, aimed at delivering international trade and investment to Africa’s most dynamic region.
TFTA brings together three of Africa’s major regional economic communities, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
“China’s continuous contribution to the regional integration and the building of the Great COMESA-SADC-EAC Free Trade Zone is vital to our regional countries to increase trade and investments among TFTA bloc,” Comesa secretary general said.
He called on other countries to emulate China’s efforts towards realization of strong regional integration in Africa.
“We have seen Chinese investment in many African counties especially in the areas of infrastructure and energy development, agriculture, human resource development and capacity building skills and culture among others. China’s support to Africa is crucial towards achieving Agenda 2063,” he said.
Agenda 2063 is the African continent’s vision for development and socio-economic transformation over the next 50 years.
Presently only three of Africa’s eight regional economic communities are participating in the TFTA. Non-participating economic blocs include the Arab Maghreb Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Economic Community of Central African States and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States.
Ngwenya pointed out two important things that investors will look at in the continent are the market size and a conducive business/investment climate.
Zimbabwe reiterates plans to re-introduce flights to China and UK
Zimbabwe has once again said it plans to re-introduce flights to London and Beijing after suspending them several years ago due to financial and operational challenges besetting the national carrier.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development Munesu Munodawafa was quoted by the state-run Herald newspaper Tuesday as saying that the government was currently scouting for a strategic partner for the airline with capacity especially to resume long haul flights.
The Harare-London route is one of Air Zimbabwe’s most lucrative routes and analysts believe a direct flight between Beijing and Harare would go a long way in boosting Chinese tourists into Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe government recently gave Air Zimbabwe the approval to find a suitable strategic partner to revive its operations, and has often expressed desire to resume flights to the United Kingdom and China because of their huge potential.
“The focus is for the operator that will be able to resume the long haul drive,” Munodawafa said.
At its peak, Air Zimbabwe used to fly to over 25 regional and international destinations but is currently only flying regional routes in southern Africa due to lack of funds to modernize its fleet and pay off creditors.
It is saddled with a 300 million U.S. dollars debt, and requires a billion dollars for recapitalization, according to government.
Chinese vice premier urges deepened China-Africa economic cooperation
Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai addresses the opening ceremony of the 2nd Investing in Africa Forum in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong Province, Sept. 7, 2016. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)
GUANGZHOU, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai on Wednesday called for deeper China-Africa cooperation in investment and trade to boost common development.
Addressing an opening ceremony of a forum on Chinese investment in Africa in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, Ma noted that China and Africa are highly complementary and the forum will inject new impetus into investment.
More than 300 representatives including South African President Jacob Zuma, Beninese President Patrice Talon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim attended the ceremony.
The forum was jointly organized by the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, China Development Bank and the World Bank.
China’s Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Gong Xiaosheng Visits Egypt
China’s Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Gong Xiaosheng visited Egypt, during which he met with Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Neighboring Countries Affairs Osama ElMajdoub of Egypt. Both sides exchanged views on regional hotspot issues including the Palestinian issue. H.E. Song Aiguo, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt was present at the meeting.
On the same day, Special Envoy Gong Xiaosheng also met with Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Helli of the League of Arab States (LAS) at the LAS headquarters in Cairo.
Special Envoy Gong Xiaosheng meets with Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Neighboring Countries Affairs Osama ElMajdoub of Egypt.
Special Envoy Gong Xiaosheng meets with LAS Deputy Secretary-General Ahmed Ben Helli.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference
Q: The Kenyan Foreign Ministry announced on its website that the Kenyan government reaffirmed its firm support to the African Common Position on the UN Security Council reform as well as its endorsement to China on the South China Sea issue. When the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAN) was concluded a few days earlier, the Japanese government released a joint declaration signed with the Kenyan side during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit there. We notice that the Kenyan side did not publicize this declaration, and that contents on maritime issues and the UN Security Council reform written in the declaration did not tally with the TICAD Nairobi Declaration. Do you have any response?
A: China has taken note that the Kenyan government reaffirmed its position on the UN Security Council reform and the South China Sea issue on its Foreign Ministry’s website, showing firm support to the African Common Position as well as China’s stance on the South China Sea issue. We also notice that the Kenyan side did not release the so-called joint declaration with Japan, but reaffirmed its position on the UN Security Council reform and the South China Sea issue instead. It is known that the Kenyan side has clarified that the so-called joint declaration is nothing but a unilateral statement by Japan instead of an agreement between Japan and Kenya. Kenya is committed to upholding the African Common Position on UN Security Council reform and supporting China’s position on the South China Sea issue. This position remains consistent and clear.
This once again reveals Japan’s attempts to impose its own will on African countries for selfish gains. Japan’s act is inappropriate and disrespectful, and will by no means win the trust of African countries.
South Africa wants outreach to Africa at G20 summit: President Zuma
South Africa’s participation in the G20 summit is to provide a strategic foresight in establishing an economic and international policy platform, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
South Africa wants the summit to drive and negotiate the best possible outcomes for South Africa, Africa and the developing world, Zuma said in a statement before leaving for China to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou.
An important part of South Africa’s G20 strategy is the outreach to Africa, Zuma added.
As the only permanent African member of the G20, South Africa has used its participation to raise issues of concern to Africa with other G20 members.
In addition, development is an important priority for South Africa in the G20, said the president.
In this regard, South Africa serves as a Co-chair of the G20 Development Working Group.
The summit is to be held in Hangzhou from September 3 to 5 under the theme: “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy.”
Under the umbrella of this overarching theme, China, as the current President of the G20, identified specific priority areas that are aimed at addressing current global economic challenges and are intended to give a focus to the work of the G20 during 2016.
The G20 leaders are expected to discuss these specific priority areas during the Summit, namely: breaking a New Path for Growth, More Effective and Efficient Global Economic and Financial Governance, Robust International Trade and Investment and, Inclusive and Interconnected Development.
South Africa is a member of the G20, which consists of 19 countries plus the European Union (EU). G20 members have been meeting regularly since 1999 to discuss global economic policy coordination. The G20 is conceptualized to stabilize and strengthen the global economy, by bringing together the major advanced and emerging market economies.
Also on Thursday, the Presidency said South Africa’s priorities in the G20 for 2016 include strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, decent employment, efficient and responsive economic infrastructure, increased investment in infrastructure, reducing illicit financial flows through coordination of international tax, coordination of international financial regulatory developments and international coordination on development, which includes domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and ensuring synergy with UN processes on the post-2015 development agenda and financing for development.
Whilst in Hangzhou, Zuma will have a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as well as meet leaders of the BRICS nations, who annually meet on the margins of the G20 summit, presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.
It is also expected that a trilateral meeting between South Africa, Chad (Chair of the African Union) and Senegal (Chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, or NEPAD) will take place on the sidelines of the summit. Zuma is also expected to interact with representatives of the Business 20 (B20), according to the spokesperson.
Following the conclusion of the G20 summit, Zuma will travel to Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, where he will attend the “2nd Investing in Africa Forum” on September 7, Ngqulunga said.
Zuma will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, and Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan to the G20 summit and will be joined by Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies and the Deputy Minister of Transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga for the 2nd Investing in Africa Forum after the G20 summit.
|The G20 Page of Star Published the Article “Summit to Take Cooperation to New Heights” Written by Ambassador Tian Xuejun|
The G20 Page ofStarpublished the articleSummit to Take Cooperation to New Heightswritten by Chinese Ambassador to South Africa Tian Xuejun. The full text goes as follows:
Summit to Take Cooperation to New Heights
Last December, on the occasion of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Africa and the co-chairing of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the Chinese President and African leaders together mapped out a new blue print for China-Africa win-win cooperation and common development, ushering China-Africa relations into a new era. This year, on September 4-5, President Xi will host another historic meeting-G20 Hangzhou Summit. The Summit will be held under the theme of “Towards an Innovative, Invigorated, Interconnected and Inclusive World Economy”, which resonates strongly with the cooperation and development aspirations of China and other developing countries across Africa and beyond.
Innovative economies provide China-Africa cooperation with inexhaustible momentum of growth. The innovation of growth model has become a common choice for China and Africa, and has created enormous space for our bilateral cooperation. Over the last two years, China-South Africa cooperation has achieved many breakthroughs in areas of blue economy, production capacity, special economic zone, energy, infrastructure, human resource, and finance. The focus of our trade relations starts to move away from traditional trades and towards more high-value added investments and industries. Today, over 140 medium and large Chinese companies are doing business in South Africa, with accumulative investment of more than 13 billion US dollars. And Chinese investment projects such as home appliances industrial park and cargo truck factory have created over 20,000 jobs for South Africans.
Exciting progress is taking place in science and technology cooperation as well. China and South Africa have signed a Declaration of Intent on the Launch of Science Park of Cooperation. Huawei has launched its first African Innovation and Experience Centre in South Africa, with the aim of training 1,000 ICT African talents. At the continental level, China and the African Union have reached agreement on establishing the African Center of Disease Control and Prevention. China has reached agreements with South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria on science and technology cooperation. With the launch of the China-Africa science and technology partnership 2.0 in the near-future, China-Africa cooperation is well-positioned to upgrade to a whole new phase.
Invigorated institutions offer China-Africa cooperation the strongest capacity for results delivery. Following the conclusion of the Johannesburg Summit of FOCAC, China has earnestly honored its commitments and has made all-out efforts to implement the follow-up actions. On the part of Africa, over 30 countries have also established their respective internal FOCAC follow-up coordination mechanisms. Working together, we have created a new wave of momentum for China-Africa win-win cooperation. Preliminary statistics records that China and Africa have signed 243 cooperation agreements worth 50.8 billion US dollars.
The New Development Bank (NDB) and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiated by China have offered African countries more choices and financing opportunities. Last April, the NDB announced its first set of loans, among which Eskom has secured 180 million US dollars for developing power lines that transmit 670 megawatts and for renewable energy generation projects of 500 megawatts. Preparations are also underway for the launch of the highly anticipated Africa Regional Centre of NDB in South Africa. In the AIIB, South Africa, as a founding member, has already filed applications for project financing. Increasingly, China-Africa cooperation demonstrates the renewed strength and vitality of our invigorated institutions.
Interconnected growth brings China-Africa cooperation closer to our respective national development. Against the sluggish world economy, both China and Africa have entered into a crucial stage of economic transformation and restructuring: China is promoting supply-side structural reform and international production capacity and equipment manufacturing cooperation. Africa is actively pursuing industrialization, modernization and urbanization. The complementarity of our development aspirations is enormous, and it has become a natural next-step for both sides to make the best out of the China-Africa ten cooperation plans and achieve fresh growth. Since the end of last year, China has signed cooperation framework agreements on international production capacity with six African countries, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Not long ago, the South African government approved to set up Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone where Chinese companies will take part in the development of a metallurgical complex.
Tangible progress has been made in China-Africa cooperation on large infrastructure projects including railway, highway, port, airport, water and electricity supply and telecommunications. Africa’s first electrified light railway connecting Addis Ababa and Djibouti will soon start full operation. Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway will also be put into service next year. These projects stand as a testimony to the deepening of China-Africa win-win cooperation on infrastructure development.
Inclusive development represents the shared pursuit of China-Africa cooperation. China is the largest developing country and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Both sides are seeking inclusive and sustainable development on the way forward. As the Presidency for this year’s G20, China has put development as the priority for global macro policy framework. China has actively pushed for the leading role of G20 in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has called for stronger emphasis on and support for Africa’s industrialization, inclusive business, employment and food security. Today, China’s aid has reached all friendly countries on the continent. Fourteen African countries suffering the most from the severe drought have received or will soon receive the emergency food aid from China. China is committed to achieving win-win cooperation with Africa and will strive to bring all of the bountiful fruits of cooperation to our peoples, especially to the peoples across Africa.
The steady and sound progress in China-Africa cooperation can hardly be achieved without deep political trust and strong public support. China and Africa have always been good friends, good partners and good brothers. The two have enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges and have coordinated closely with each other on major international and regional issues such as the United Nations (UN) reform, climate change, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and counter-terrorism. Together, China and Africa not only have supported each other’s development, but also have upheld the common and fundamental interests of the whole developing world. China firmly supports African countries to explore development path suitable for individual national conditions. China remains committed to speaking up for Africa in international arena, calls on the international community to pay greater attention to Africa, and supports priority be given to enhancing the representation of Africa in the UN Security Council and other institutions.
China-Africa cooperation and exchanges also bear fruitful results in the areas of culture, education, health, science and technology, think tank, women and youth. The successfully holding of country year celebrations respectively in 2014 and 2015 marks an important innovation for China-South Africa and China-Africa relations, and sets off fresh impetus for people-to-people and cultural exchange. Currently, over 40,000 Africa students are studying in China and over 27 African countries have resident journalists in China. Steady increase has also been registered in the number of visitors between China and Africa.
In this golden autumn season, the G20 Hangzhou Summit to be held in the most beautiful city of southern China will enjoy the most extensive participation of developing countries and has great potential to yield fruitful results. For Africa’s participation, China has invited heads of state of G20 member South Africa and guest countries of Egypt, Chad, and Senegal. We have strong reasons to believe that their participation in the G20 Hangzhou Summit will help lead China-Africa cooperation into a new era of innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive development.
China, South Africa to further strengthen ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with South African President Jacob Zuma who came to Hangzhou to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province, Sept. 3, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
HANGZHOU, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on Saturday, with the two leaders vowing to strengthen bilateral ties and coordination on multilateral affairs.
Zuma is here to attend the Group of 20 summit on Sunday and Monday.
Xi said China always regards its relations with South Africa in a strategic and long-term way, and is committed to developing the two countries’ special relations as comrades and brothers.
China is willing to join South Africa to promote the bilateral ties to reach a new level, Xi told Zuma, adding that the two sides should expand political mutual trust, strengthen exchanges between political parties, governments, legislatures and militaries, and enhance strategic coordination.
The two sides should boost cooperation between local governments, increase investment and employment, and expand cultural exchanges to forge a foundation for people-to-people friendship, the Chinese president said.
Xi stressed the unshakable determination for solidarity, cooperation and win-win deal between China and Africa, and unshakable support for peace and development in Africa.
As both are major developing countries and BRICS members, China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with South Africa in bilateral and multilateral affairs, and advance China-South Africa and China-Africa relations to make new progress, Xi said.
China is also ready to work together with South Africa to push forward BRICS cooperation agenda and make G20 cooperation more fruitful, Xi added.
Zuma said South Africa cherishes its comprehensive strategic partnership with China, adding bilateral relations are growing deeper and wider.
South Africa appreciates China’s contribution to Africa’s development and China’s role in setting interconnective development and UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as topics of the G20 Hangzhou summit.
South Africa is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in the UN, G20, BRICS, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and other multilateral frameworks, Zuma said.
Chinese, Egyptian presidents meet ahead of G20 summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who is here to attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit, in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, Sept. 4, 2016. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
HANGZHOU, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday met with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi who came to attend the Group of 20 (G20) summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Xi said China steadfastly supports Egypt’s effort to maintain stability and explore its own development path in line with its national conditions.
He said he hopes China and Egypt continue to support each other on issues of their core concern and take concrete actions to promote economic and trade cooperation.
China is satisfied with the continued progress in the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said.
He added the two sides should strengthen cooperation in industrial capacity, finance, people’s livelihood, environmental protection and infrastructure, and coordinate and cooperate closely in global and regional affairs.
The Egyptian leader thanked Xi for inviting him to attend the G20 Hangzhou summit and hopes to deepen exchanges with China in fields of industry, telecommunications, technology, agriculture, hydrology, finance, local administration, and human resources.
China, Senegal to advance ties of mutual benefit
Chinese President Xi Jinping(R) meets with his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, Sept. 2, 2016. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
HANGZHOU, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) — China will work with Senegal to elevate bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, President Xi Jinping said when meeting with his Senegalese counterpart Macky Sall on Friday.
Sall is in the eastern city of Hangzhou to attend the 11th summit of the Group of 20 major economies, to be held on Sept. 4-5. He is one of the leaders of some guest countries and international organizations to join the leaders of the G20 members.
Sall said he was very pleased to attend the summit at Xi’s invitation, which symbolizes China’s great importance attached to Africa.
Xi said China is willing to work with Senegal to implement the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and strengthen bilateral friendly cooperation of mutual benefit.
The Chinese president stressed that the two sides shall enhance political exchanges to promote mutual trust and expand economic and trade collaboration by bridging China’s development plans with those of Senegal to help the latter accelerate industrialization and boost agricultural modernization.
Xi also hoped the two countries would strengthen cooperation in the field of security, including peacekeeping, keep close communication and coordination on global affairs, and work together to drive the world’s political and economic order to be more just and equitable.
Sall expressed appreciation for China’s long-term assistance to Senegal and Africa.
He spoke highly of the cooperation plans adopted at the Johannesburg Summit in early December last year and China’s pragmatic measures to implement them.
Senegal is willing to work closely with China to realize independent development in Africa, he said.
President Xi calls for further cooperation with Chad, Africa
Chinese President Xi Jinping(R) meets with Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno in Hangzhou, capital city of east China’s Zhejiang Province, Sept. 3, 2016. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
HANGZHOU, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) — President Xi Jinping met with Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno on Saturday, calling for further China-Chad and China-Africa cooperation.
Deby, on behalf of the African Union, was invited to attend the 11th G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
China supports Africa’s positive contribution to global governance and world economic growth, Xi said.
Noting that China and Chad have seen all-round, rapid development of ties in recent years, Xi said China is willing to work with Chad to further advance their friendly cooperative relations and bring more benefits to their peoples.
He called on the two sides to understand and support each other on issues concerning their core interests and major concerns.
Energy cooperation should play a major role in Sino-Chadian collaboration, the Chinese president said, adding that China encourages its businesses to invest in Chad to help the country develop its own capability for independent and sustainable growth.
He also highlighted the importance of peace and security, pledging to help Chad with its capacity building in national defense, peacekeeping, and stability.
Unity and cooperation between China and African countries are a long-term and firm strategic choice for China, Xi said, noting China will continue to act on the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good faith, adopt the right approach to upholding justice, and carry out the ten major plans of China-Africa cooperation.
Efforts will be made to synchronize China’s own development with its support for the development of Africa, to help speed up Africa’s industrialization and agricultural modernization, and ensure win-win cooperation and common development, he said.
China supports the African Union’s important role in Africa’s development and integration, and in regional and international affairs, Xi continued.
For his part, Deby appreciated China’s constant support for Africa and its win-win and reciprocal cooperation with the continent, as well as its efforts to lead the G20 mechanism to assist in Africa’s development.
The relationship between Africa and China, which features mutual understanding and mutual support, is a model for Africa’s external relations, he said.
Deby said Chad is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in fields of renewable energy, mineral resources, trade, people’s livelihood, healthcare, among others.
Sierra Leonean students leave for China for further studies
The last groups out of the 49 Sierra Leonean students who won Chinese scholarships this year left Freetown on Sunday to pursue further studies in China.
The 49 students, some of whom had begun leaving for China on Sept. 1, will undergo various studies in a number of Chinese institutions of higher learning.
Saying goodbye to the students and handing over their tickets, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Samura Kamara hoped they will serve as ambassadors of Sierra Leone by promoting the country’s good culture and traditions.
He told them to count themselves very fortunate to be selected among the many students who vied for the Chinese scholarships.
He thanked the Chinese government for offering the people of Sierra Leone such a high number of scholarships for the students to capacitate themselves and contribute to the country’s economic development.
Dr. Samura described the courses as very relevant to Sierra Leone’s economy noting that “that these are the type of professionals the country is looking for “.
He spoke of the very cordial relationship existing between both countries and recalled the Chinese intervention in the country’s Ebola crisis, which he said helped to galvanize the international support.
The deputy Minister of Education Christiana Thorpe hoped the students going will make “good use of their stay and comport themselves as ambassadors of Sierra Leone “.
|Sudan: China Red Cross Society Provides 100 Thousand Dollars to Flood and Rain-Affected People|
The Chinese Red Cross Society has provided $100,000 to the Sudanese Red Crescent Society (SRCS) in support of the flooding and rains-affected people in Sudan.
Assistant of the President of the Republic and Official of the Sudanese-Chinese Relations File, Dr Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz while was addressing program of provision of humanitarian assistance by China to Sudan, Thursday, expressed appreciation to China over its growing role and supportive stance to Sudan in all fields.
Dr Al-Jaz affirmed Sudan concern with cooperation and establishment of strategic partnerships with China in all domains.
Ambassador of China to Sudan said the Chinese Red Cross Society donated $100,000 dollars for Sudan to ward off impact of foods and rains.
Meanwhile, the SRCS Secretary-General, Engineer Osman Jaafer unveiled a support convoy from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will destine to a number of States within the coming two days.
It is to be noted that during the program a number of agreements were signed between SRCS and the Chinese Red Cross Society.
Ethiopia, China Vow to Strengthen Trade, Investment Relations
The Ethio -China business and trade relations is currently flourishing and for the furtherance of the relations investors from both countries pledged to utilize the existing opportunities for mutual benefit.
Opening the largest China – Ethiopia Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum organized by Guandong Province Department of Commerce and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) yesterday, Dr. Arkebe Ekubay Special Advisor to the Prime Minister with the Rank of Minster said that there are many opportunities for Chinese investors to engage in various sectors such as manufacturing and infrastructural development.
He further said that as the second most populous nation in the continent, Ethiopia could attract foreign investment because the population is an economic asset both as producer and consumer. The expansion of higher education in the country for the last two decades enabled the nation to supply trained man power to the labour market which investors could employ with fair wage.
According to Dr. Arkebe, the already flourishing road infrastructure, energy, telecommunication and efficient custom authority could attract FDI. To meet its development aspiration, the country needs vibrant manufacturing sector to produce export-oriented products, substitute import and create job opportunities for hundreds of thousands.
Guangdong Province Governor Zhu Xiaodan on his pat said to strengthen trade and economic and cooperation with Ethiopia a Consulate General was opened there in 2009. He further said that presently China is the largest investment source and the biggest trade partner to Ethiopia in which Guangdong plays an important role.
From 2010 to 2015 Guangdong’s trade with Ethiopia grew from 114 million USD to 1.59 billion USD with annual growth of 78.6 per cent.
ECCSA President Solomon Afework also said Ethiopian export to China has been steadily increasing over time although not diversified. Coffee, oil seeds and leather are the major export items.
About 150 investors and traders from both countries attended the meeting that mainly discussed issues such as trade, information technology equipment, house – hold appliances,and also involving Chinese investors in the construction,tourism and agricultural sectors.
Africa: China’s Message to Africa Is Loud, Clear
The following quotation from China’s Director General of the Department of African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Mr Lin Songtian is very incisive in describing relations between his country and Africa.
“The engine to drive cooperation between China and Africa has been changed, the structure has been changed, the situation has been changed and of course the outcome has been changed,” he said recently.”Whoever gets ready themselves will get the support from China. If you choose to sleep, maintain the situation as it is, as it was, you are free, we respect you. We will never force you to follow us.
“This is now the cooperation driven by the market, not by the government, so whoever gets themselves ready, you benefit first and benefit more, this is the message to you. I hope you will share with your people.”
Mr Lin was speaking to African journalists in China’s Sichuan city where coordinators of projects being undertaken in Africa toured the Singapore-Sichuan Hi-Tech Innovation Park.
The coordinators were mainly government ministers from various African countries, who included Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Obert Mpofu.
Well, the message is loud and clear from China.
It now needs bold decisions by African countries to ensure that they excite more investment from the Asian economic giant. It is no longer time for government grants from the Chinese side, and this coming after the realisation that such grants can no longer sustain the level of development that Africa requires. Government grants would rather be directed to other areas like training and human resources capacitation, and will no longer be channelled to mega developmental projects.
And by their nature, Government grants are very limited.
This explains why China has decided to put the private sector and financial institutions at the forefront of undertaking projects in Africa.
This means there will be increased competition among African countries to attract investment from Chinese firms, as they have to come up with viable projects which can entice the private sector.
It’s like a rude awakening to most African countries that were used to extend a begging hand to the Chinese government for additional grants.
The Chinese firms, being the private sector as they are, will be hunting for investment opportunities and look forward to returns on their investments.
It is now time African countries exploit their numerous advantages to attract more investment from China.
Since the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Johannesburg in December last year, China has been pursuing this new line of cooperation with African countries.
Statistics show that the cooperation has now gone commercial and only those projects considered feasible are taken on board.
Partial figures released at the recent African coordinators meeting for projects being implemented by China showed that the bulk of the aid coming from the Asian country is now commercial. For instance, since the focac summit last year, China and Africa have signed more than 180 cooperation agreements with a total value of $32,4 billion.
Of this, $29 billion is made up of commercial loans, accounting for 89,62 percent. During the coordinators meeting, the two sides signed 60 cooperation agreements worth $18,2 billion, of which $14,7 billion or 80,8 percent were contractual investment by Chinese firms in Africa.
That there is huge demand and development potential in Africa in industrial development, infrastructure, agriculture modernisation and urbanisation is of no doubt.
On the other hand, China has an advantage over Africa in technology, equipment, talent and capital that have the potential to unlock value from these sectors.
And there is a huge potential of enhancing this relationship, considering that China is the largest developing country in the world, while Africa is the fastest developing continent.
The approach being taken by China means that only those countries which are organised in terms of coming up with competitive and viable projects will benefit first. And this also includes Zimbabwe, where a number of private sector projects are already being undertaken between Chinese firms and Government. Government planners now need to deepen their skills and come up with more viable projects that attract the private sector from China and funding from that country’s financial institutions. Bold steps have to be taken to make the investment environment more favourable by addressing factors that usually slow down the interest of investors. It is important that Government has been working on various ways of making it easy for investors to do business in the country. These, coupled with shrewd planning, can result in the country fitting pretty well into the scheme of things and China’s new focus. It is important for Zimbabwe to overhaul its system so that it becomes investor friendly.
The country already has a competitive advantage in attracting private sector investment from China given its strategic position in Southern Africa.
That Zimbabwe’s economic infrastructure can still be ranked second from South Africa in the region is a good starting point.
Zimbabwe’s other advantage is that it is very rich in agricultural and mineral resources. But more areas need to be opened up to investors, as there is lots of potential in sectors like finance, telecommunications, automobile and insurance. What is also needed is to urgently look at laws, regulations and policy documents that hinder the flow of foreign capital.
The regulatory environment can discourage foreign direct investment, especially if it is excessive, where much time and money are spent in trying to comply. The result of such cumbersome processes is that the investor looks elsewhere easier to set up business. What is also important is to develop and rehabilitate some of the infrastructure to make it attractive to investors.
Zimbabwe already has a skilled labour force, thanks to the education policy adopted at independence in 1980, which gave an opportunity to everyone to pursue their academic dreams. Perhaps what is needed is to look at the cost of that labour, as it has the potential to discourage investors if it is considered too high and unsustainable.
The tax regime also needs to be looked at to ensure that it is favourable to foreign investors and if possible tax concessions should be offered.
Related to the tax regime are export-friendly policies, which can play a major role in persuading Chinese investors to come to Zimbabwe.
One of the major purposes of attracting foreign direct investment is for the country to build up its foreign reserves, while also creating employment.
So, policies that encourage investors to export as much as possible are needed. Zimbabwe is known for its peace and stability and the maintenance of such is important to give potential investors confidence.
Dealing with corruption should also be another top priority and the tough measures being taken against the scourge need to be strengthened.
China’s intolerance towards corruption should be emulated in this regard.
Thanks to its efforts, the Asian country is much regarded as “one of the most attractive destinations in the world for foreign investment”.
It is now Africa’s turn to learn how others attracted foreign direct investment.
Tough luck for countries that will not be up to the task in their quest to attract investment from China.
Like what Mr Lin said: “It’s hard if the people cannot catch the train on time, the train will not wait for them.”