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China commended for its development engagement in Africa
2018/06/21

Samuel Onyenobia, from the African Union (AU) Bureau of the Chairperson, was among the many AU officials, African diplomats and scholars, who were visiting the Adama Industrial Park on Friday, in Adama town 80 km southeast of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

The Adama Industrial Park is one of many different parks carried out by the Chinese in the East African country. It has been developed with a total investment of 148 million U.S. dollars for industries of textile and manufacturing of spare parts of small-type machineries.

An event was organized on Friday by the Chinese Mission to AU, whereby participants had the opportunity to visit Ethio-Djibouti rail project and industrial park in Adama town.

While visiting the Park, Onyenobia told Xinhua that "Africa rising" is in fact very true because of projects like these (rail and industrial parks) being carried out in Africa.

He stated that the Chinese have been increasing their presence in Africa cooperating with the continent on pressing issues such as infrastructure development.

"They (the Chinese) are going around Africa helping us to achieve the development, provide the basic needs that the Africa people need, which is connection, connectivity among different locations. We see that it will boost trade, intra-Africa trade; it will boost businesses across the continent, and bring about integration on the continent," said Onyenobia.

In addition to industrial parks, the Chinese have been engaged in different mega projects such as highways, railways and airport construction and development in Ethiopia.

In the development of transport infrastructure, the Chinese have carried out mega projects including the Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit, and the Ethio-Djibouti standard gauge rail.

"These projects have helped Ethiopia to be more competitive in terms of attracting investment into the region and into Africa as a whole," the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday in its report on the Ethiopia-China relations.

"China has helped provide financing for a series of major projects in Ethiopia, helping to bridge the infrastructure gap in the country," said the ministry.

Levi Uche Madueke, Head of AU Strategic Partnership, was among the visitors to the Ethio-Djibouti railway project and the industrial park in Adama.

Madueke told Xinhua that many mega projects carried out by the Chinese with provision of financial resource are products of the Sino-African partnership, which is now being facilitated by the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

He expressed hope that such projects as the railway and industrial parks in Ethiopia would be replicated in other parts of Africa to drive the realization of overall development, industrialization, and integration of the continent.

"This is actually product of China-Africa cooperation, within the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the aim is actually to bring meaning to the people of Africa, and also engaging things that we benefit, the counterpart which is China as well," said Madueke.

China will host the coming summit of FOCAC in Beijing in September, under the theme "The Belt and Road Initiative and Africa's Development."

Attending the event on Friday, Rossette Nyirinkindi Kataungye, AU Advisor on Regional Integration, said FOCAC is a good platform to engage the two sides on ways of further cementing the partnership.

"FOCAC is a very good way for us to articulate what we expect from the relationship between China and Africa, and for our leadership to engage with China, the African leadership to make sure that we are working together in terms of cementing this good relationship," said Kataungye.

Recalling that a standard gauge rail has also been done in other parts of East Africa, Kataungye has hailed China's engagement and commitment to development in Africa.

"China has demonstrated that it is a very good partner for Africa in terms of development, even the socio-cultural ties. They understand our aspirations; they have demonstrated that they can stand by us to achieve our aspirations, and especially on infrastructure," she said.

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