The commitments by China are set to promote Africa industrialization once they come to fruition, a Senior African Union (AU) official has said.
Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an AU development agency, observed on Saturday that the commitments that were made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) need to be implemented.
“We are counting on China to continue promoting industrialization in Africa given that Africa is the youngest continent in the world,” Mayaki said this on the sidelines of NEPAD’s Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
Mayaki revealed that negotiations are at an advanced stage to have FOCAC projects aligned to regional bodies.
He said that Africa is a long term sustainability partner, adding that the world’s stability depends on Africa’s stability.
He said that the coming September 2016 G20 conference in China has come at the right time when the relationship between Africa and China is at its peak.
“Africa has a lot to learn from China including engineering,” he said, adding Africa trains less than 30,000 every year while China graduates nearly 300,000 per year.
Mayaki said that with serious industrialization in Africa there will be additional jobs to college leavers.
“We need to embark on value addition to enable African commodities acquire new markets globally besides the big African market that is under-utilized,” he added.
He said that political leaders are currently embracing priorities towards regional integration as a way to promoting cross-boundary trade.
Nepad is also currently implementing a project on gender, climate change agriculture in 10 countries with the aim of scaling it up in other countries.
He revealed that NEPAD has a climate change fund which helps countries to design projects to tackle the issues of impact of climate change on agriculture and give them the necessary tools and resources on specific projects in order to cope with the adverse situation.
“The program is women centered with the aim of bringing women’s informal businesses to higher levels,” he noted.
NEPAD is a planning and coordinating technical body of the AU that seeks to eradicate poverty and create sustainable growth on the continent.
It has 16 regional cross-border projects in infrastructure in collaboration with the private sector and includes a gas pipeline project between Nigeria to Algeria, the Congo Brazzaville-Kinshasa bridge which will be expanded by a railway and a road.
The projects are undertaken with the African Development Bank and Regional Economic Communities.
“We are soon launching a youth and skills development on technical vocational centre’s to increase capacities of countries to focus on professional training and also link those centres to the private sector in order to boost youth employment.