The Chairperson of African Union Commission (AUC) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma on Saturday commended the speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Johannesburg on Friday.
“President Xi Jinping’s speech was great in the sense that it identified areas where Africa is interested in and which are in our agenda 2063. Those are areas we are going to cooperate on and take this relationship to new heights,” Dlamini Zuma told Xinhua.
In his keynote address at the first FOCAC summit held in Africa, President Xi Jinping outlined a raft of measures to revitalize Sino-Africa ties in key areas like trade, infrastructure, finance and investments, health and security.
The AU Chairperson said African states are ready to cooperate with China in order to promote economic growth and social transformation.
“We are going to cooperate with China whether in modernizing agriculture, infrastructure, energy, training of the young people and culture,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She added that a partnership with China will be critical to helping African countries implement ambitious infrastructure projects.
“The cooperation with China will enable us to implement the three networks project which include highways, railways and aviation,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She thanked President Xi for announcing a new financing tranche to help implement ambitious development programs in Africa.
“We think the President’s speech was great and the resources he announced will boost implementation of the initiatives to accelerate our development,” Dlamini Zuma said.
She highly commended the Chinese President’s proposal that African problems should be resolved by Africans themselves.
Dlamini Zuma reiterated that Africa should be given space to chart its own destiny.
“Africa belongs to Africans and we must be allowed to chart our own development path,” said the AUC Chairperson.