With the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) welcoming African leaders and scholars today, September 3, there is a renewed call for the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to promote a stronger community with a shared future between China and Africa.
Africa has become a pilot region of the initiative, in which Chinese enterprises are generating a range of economic and social benefits to make up for the lack of local infrastructure, said Li Xinzhu, head of the African Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China.
Trade volume between China and African countries has been on the rise in recent years, up 14% year-on-year in 2017 and 16% year-on-year in the first half of 2018. With population being an advantage, Africa is more suitable for developing labour-intensive industries, such as light industry and textiles.
China has worked for years to help Africa promote industrialization and livelihood. For example, the Mombasa Nairobi Railway in Kenya completed last year facilitates movement in the continent and boosts bilateral economic cooperation.
Many African people are in support of the Belt and Road Initiative and are friendly to Chinese people, Li said, citing a recent trip to Zambia, where he was welcomed by a large number of locals.
The Beijing Summit of FOCAC is expected to promote further cooperation between China and Africa, generating more dividends to African countries, Li predicted.
(Source: People’s Daily)