The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has lauded Chinese engagement in Africa saying it has impacted development in the continent in multiple ways.
Through various initiatives, Dr. Adesina noted that China has demonstrated a strong desire to partner with Africa to accelerate the continent’s economic growth and development.
Speaking during the launch of a report on Chinese Investment in Africa, the AfDB boss said the more than ten thousand Chinese-owned firms in the continent are involved in transformational investments all across the continent.
“Chinese firms of all sizes and sectors are bringing capital investments, management, and know-how, and entrepreneurial energy and drive to every corner of the continent. In doing so, they are helping to accelerate the progress of Africa’s economies.” He said
He cited investments such as shoes and leather, textile and garments as well as pharmaceuticals companies in special economic zones of Ethiopia where they are helping to diversify the economy, transfer technologies, and built skills quite rapidly and while creating thousands of jobs, especially for women.
Adesina also gave an example of the state-of-the-art ceramics tile factory outside of Nairobi Kenya, constructed in just eight months by the Chinese. He further singled out a Chinese truck assembly in Lagos, Nigeria, that has partnered with a local firm to manufacture for the local market as a demonstration of the impact of Chinese investments in Africa.
“These are the kinds of investments that Africa needs more of. These are the kinds of investments that can help us to thrive. The AfDB of which China is an important shareholder stands ready to strengthen its partnership with China and with Chinese companies.” He said
“We are pleased to be working closely with Chinese companies in the field of infrastructure. The two-billion-dollar Africa growing together fund that China has at the Africa Development Bank helps us to co-finance major infrastructure, in several African countries.” He added
According to Dr. Adesina, programs such as the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) have become strong platforms to strengthen China-Africa cooperation. He lauded the commitment of 60 billion USD financing package for Africa in 2018 by Chinese President Xi Jinping saying it has helped fast-track the economic transformation of the continent.
War on Covid-19
And as the world grapples with a global health crisis brought about by the covid-19 pandemic, Adesina noted that China has offered huge support to Africa in efforts aimed at keeping the deadly virus at bay.
“I wish to thank China for its support in tackling pandemic. China provided 280 million USD of covid-19 related aid and support including equipment and protective gear for medical personnel. China is also providing vaccines to 19 African countries.” He said
He expressed confidence that African economies will recover from the pandemic, with projected GDP growth of 3.4 percent in 2021 compared to 2.1 percent registered in 2020. He says commodity prices, tourism recovery, as well as trade investment, and financial flows will be the key drivers. He says the world’s second-largest economic power will play a huge role.
“China will continue to be a strong partner for Africa to boost its recovery and long-term economic growth and development.” He said