Significant progress is being made to promote cooperation between Chinese and African local governments, particularly in the twinning of provinces, cities, or counties.
This cooperation model, which promises to fast-track economic growth at the lowest levels of governance, is in line with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC Action Plan that saw the two sides agreeing to work together in strengthening the capacity of local governments to contribute towards socio-economic growth.
“China and Africa will promote exchanges and cooperation between local governments, and support the establishment of more sister provinces/cities relationships, as well as the institutionalization of the China-Africa Forum on Cooperation between Local Governments,” reads part of the Action Plan.
In Kenya, the model has been embraced and is already being implemented and its fruits can be felt. For instance, the Kilifi County Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jiangxi Province and Jiujiang City leaders that will serve as the foundation of cooperation spanning various sectors.
In a deal signed by area Governor Gideon Mung’aro and the Chinese delegation led by Mr. Ren Zhufeng, the Executive vice Governor of the People’s Government of Jiangxi Province, and Mr. Xiong Jinxi, the Deputy Mayor of Jiujiang Municipal, the two Chinese provincial-level administrations will partner with the devolved unit to explore opportunities for business and people’s empowerment.
During the meeting between the two sides, the governor made a case for Kilifi County’s wealth in agriculture, tourism, and culture, even as he extended an invitation for the leadership of the two regions to discover different areas of investment and expand trade with the County.
“Our opportunities are vast and diverse, spanning investments, business support, and agriculture, including the import of unique and nutritious products such as baobab fruit byproducts, mangoes, coconut tree byproducts, and more from Kilifi County,” the governor noted
He also highlighted some of the benefits that the partnership was likely to bring to the county, including boosting the local blue economy, the health sector, youth exchange programmes, as well as innovation, and technology. He said combined efforts between the three regions can transform people’s fortunes and enrich societies, transcending geographical boundaries.
Governor Mung’aro said he will embrace every opportunity that promises growth and prosperity for the people of Kilifi County.
“In my capacity as the governor of Kilifi County, I wholeheartedly embrace every opportunity that promises growth and prosperity for our people. Together, we can forge a brighter future deeply rooted in friendship, cooperation, and shared aspirations,” he said.
Governor Mung’aro was in the company of County Executive Members, during the signing ceremony with officials from Jiangxi Province and Jiujiang City. They too expressed their commitment to the success of the latest collaboration.
Another county that recently announced a partnership with a Chinese province is Meru.
The County signed a letter of intent to establish a friendly relationship with Central China’s Hunan Province.
The two sides said they will jointly promote economic, trade, and people-to-people exchanges and launch cooperation at the local level in various fields. The partnership is expected to boost Meru’s export of agricultural products to China and promote cooperation in tourism with Hunan.