Published: Mon, September 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

President Kenyatta arrives in Beijing to attend China-Africa Summit

President Kenyatta arrives in Beijing to attend China-Africa Summit

African leaders are going to Beijing for the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) Summit, hoping to get financing for their mega infrastructure projects.

Zimbabwe and China have excellent bilateral relations anchored in a shared history and friendship that dates back to the days of the liberation struggle and President Mnangagwa's second visit to China since his ascendency in November past year is expected to inject new vitality and renew the call for a shared future with the Asian country.

The vision of the China-Africa relations is anchored on a desire for a shared future where all nations can prosper through cooperation and mutually beneficial partnerships.

The documents are expected to build on the outcomes of the Johannesburg summit, during which Xi announced 10 major cooperation plans to promote industrialisation and agricultural modernisation in Africa.

Data shows that China-Africa trade amounted to $170 billion in 2017, a 14.1 per cent increase upon the 2016 figures.

Calling the United Nations "the flag of multilateralism", Xi said the world has been more in need than ever of multilateralism and a stronger United Nations as the rising unilateralism and protectionism is dealing a blow to the worldwide order and the system of global governance.

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"Chinese and African leaders will exchange in-depth views on the development of China-Africa relations and global and regional issues of common concern", it said. China has largely managed to alleviate poverty in its country, and has emerged increasingly stronger with the adoption of groundbreaking measures since the launch of its reform and opening-up policy, with a rich history of experience to share with African countries.

"Applications for attendance significantly surpassed our expectations", Jiang Zengwei, head of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said Friday at a press briefing.

"Chinese financing being available as an option for African economies is a welcome relief, especially looking at how the International Monetary Fund has tried to dictate areas of potential development for African governments", said Michael Omouyi, executive director of the Centre for Nigerian Studies at Zhejiang Normal University.

"We will make unremitting efforts and do a good job as long as we believe it benefits African countries and people", Xi said.

In May, Kenya rejected the China-EAC economic trade agreement, arguing that it was protecting its manufacturing sector from China's cheaper and more efficient producers. Some Chinese manufacturers are expanding to Africa, but the bulk of Chinese investment goes into mining or construction of roads and other infrastructure. At the summit's conclusion, South Africa will hand over the co-chairship of Focac to a new African country, having served six years (2012 to 2018) in this role.

That is why the World Bank is looking for the lessons from China's experience which can be replicated in the rest of the developing world.

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