By Abu BakarrKargbo
Wang Dong, Director of the Department of West Asia and African Affairs
Officials from the Department of West Asia and African Affairs in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce have disclosed to journalists that China has disbursed about $30 billion to assist African countries in different projects as its pledges to be the most reliable partner in improving the continent.
China’s President, Xi Jinping in 2015 announced a $60 billion funding support for Africa at the sixth Summit of the forum on China-Africa cooperation that was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2015.
The programs cover the areas of industrialisation, agricultural modernisation, infrastructure, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.
“Fifty percent of China’s pledge to Africa has been disbursed to various programs. This shows our commitment to take development to our African brothers and sisters,” says Wang Dong, Director of the Department of West Asia and African Affairs said on Tuesday.
He noted that amidst the global economic challenges that resulted to the Chinese economy slowing down in 2016, they are much more committed to roll out all ten programs with the remaining fifty percent so as to prepare for further support starting next year.
China, he said willcontinue to strengthen its relations with Africa and support the continent, even under harsh condition.
Since the Johannesburg Summit, $60 billion was set aside by the government to support Africa and nearly half of it has already been disbursed or arranged.
“China and Africa are a closely allied community with a common future. The cooperation is mutually between two brothers no matter how the international situation or world economy may evolve, there is no weakening in China’s support for Africa,” Wang said.
The, he said shows that China always keeps its words. The Director confirmed that that some of the projects that had already been undertaken since the Johannesburg Summit included the completion of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway line.
According to him, completion of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway was also expected soon and some projects were underway in Congo and Tanzania, among other countries.
He said the China-Africa relations gave the continent an opportunity to achieve sustainable development.
Since 2000, Economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa continues to make progress in spite of global economic difficulties. China recorded an investment of $34 billion, and in 2015, it had $3.3billion in Foreign Direct Investment. A total of $220billion by different companies since 2000 has enhanced economic successes in the China-Africa relations.
“China companies have great confidence and respect for the African market. Lots have been achieved in the past decade and we have incorporated projects covering all African countries,” Wang added, and advised that China and Africa should put monies into the right projects so as to avoid wastages. “Feasibility studies should be carried by both the donor country and the implementing country in order to identify the right model and ensure correct use of the funds,” he said.
China has implemented 1008 programmes in Africa and have trained over 80, 000 people in various fields.
Wang further said 2017 is a critical year for the China-Africa relations to ensure that all ten programmes are successfully implemented. “We need favourable environment and good conditions for the smooth implementation of the ten programs,” he stated.