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Africa needs China to supplement its economic ambitions

It’s over two decades now since China has pronounced its immense support to help Africa to enhance its economic ambitions and help grow the continent’s GDP to match other continents in the world.

Since then we’ve seen China keeping up to its promise with the ever support given to various countries in areas of health, infrastructure development, trade relations and major other needs like military assistance.

When the deadly Ebola epidemic was raging in Sierra Leone and other West African countries, China stepped up to provide medical personnel, drugs and other assistance.

Ebola Sierra Leone

 

Now that the epidemic is over, China is continuing to lend a hand to Sierra Leone in various other aspects to help the country reel from the epidemic’s effects.

The Tanzania-Zambia Railway, linking the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia’s central province, used to be a major copper export route, as its export routes that ran through then apartheid controlled South Africa were cut off.

In 1976, Chinese construction crews completed the 1,860-kilometer-long TAZARA, said to be the largest single foreign-aid project undertaken by China at the time, at an initial construction cost of $500 million.

The train route now represents the good relations among Tanzania, Zambia and China as well as the rest of the continent.

Recently, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was quoted on Xinhua news commissioning the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport built with support from China.

“The renovation could turn the airport into a regional tourist hub if aggressively marketed,” quoted Mugabe.

The completion of the airport project, according to Mugabe, it was also a major milestone in the country’s development efforts, partnered by China which he described as “a great partner and friend.”

Fruit Trade

With China signing a number of memorandums of understanding with various countries in Africa, recently South Africa also signed another one to broaden the fruit trade between the two nations.

In the memorandum, China Entry-Exit Inspection Authority and Quarantine Association (CIQA) and FruitSA have agreed to exchange information on quarantine and inspection, regulatory matters, market access, market improvement and development, technologies and other issues related to the fruit industry.

According to surveys conducted in 2014 and last year in 36 African countries by Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network, the public largely holds favourable views of economic activities and assistance by China.

The study concluded that an average of 63 percent of participants have been reported to have said China’s influence in Africa is “somewhat”, or “very” positive for the continent.

 

Source: Thabo Jobo | Dec 13

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