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China, Africa cooperation impacts the world

By Ma Wencheng | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-20 10:09

Freight trains are seen at Nairobi station of Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Nov 17, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Recently, the China Development Bank signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, focusing on development, providing the African Export-Import Bank with a $400 million dollar term loan to support the financing of African small and medium enterprises. This batch of loans will support African SMEs engaged in African import and export trade and production activities in member countries of the African Export-Import Bank.

China has become one of the main sources of investment and financing in Africa, providing a large amount of urgently needed funds for African development through mechanisms such as providing aid, government concessional loans, commercial financial institution credit funds, special investment and financing funds, and encouraging Chinese companies to directly invest in Africa, creating a huge scale effect.

China's cumulative investment in Africa has exceeded over $200 billion dollars. Chinese companies have built highways, railways, ports, airports and other forms of infrastructure in Africa, greatly improving the economic development environment in Africa, attracting foreign investment, promoting local employment, freeing people from poverty, and gradually moving towards a prosperous and well-off life.

China's aid and cooperation does not come with rose-colored glasses and has no attached conditions; whereas the arrogance and rudeness of certain Western countries - the old colonial mindset - and their high-handed approach make the African people feel humiliated and lowly and are often ignored and looked down upon as Western countries often promise more and deliver less, only caring about their own gains.

Cooperation with China offers a kind of equal partnership, a brotherly open and honest communication, without feeling oppressed. As the saying goes: time reveals a person's heart, China's assistance and cooperation have brought tangible benefits to various friendly countries in Africa, bringing visible and tangible changes.

Firstly, enhance capacity cooperation. China has rich manufacturing experience and technical advantages and countries like Egypt and South Africa, as important manufacturing centers in Africa, have good location and market advantages. The two sides can further strengthen capacity docking, jointly carry out manufacturing cooperation, enhance Africa's industrial competitiveness, and achieve complementarily optimization of the industrial chain.

Secondly, deepen financial cooperation. Finance is an important support for economic development, and China and Africa can further expand channels for capital circulation, strengthen cooperation and exchanges between financial institutions. Chinese financial institutions can provide more concessional loans and investments for Africa, supporting Africa's infrastructure construction and industrial development. The two sides can also strengthen cooperation in financial supervision and risk management to enhance the stability and sustainability of financial cooperation.

Moreover, some investors have doubts about the political stability, business environment and legal environment of African countries, which to a certain extent affect the potential investment momentum and the sustainability of existing investment projects. With the effective development of the Belt and Road economy, China-Africa cooperation is beginning to shift from government aid to enterprise investment and financing cooperation, upgrading from general trade to capacity cooperation and processing trade, and gradually moving towards investment operation, economic special zones, industrial parks and trade logistics centers as well as high-end fields such as financial services. China and Africa have entered a new stage of win-win cooperation and mutual development. Some experts and scholars in the industry believe that China can actively explore helping African countries to plan and build economic special zones and industrial parks, drive the overall industrialization level of Africa, and promote the sustainable development of the African economy.

Lastly, in terms of the use of funds, it is necessary to strengthen cooperation in environmental protection and sustainable development. Our earth is the only one, we have to be responsible for our home, and we must protect our blue globe. We have made significant achievements in environmental protection and sustainable development in China and can share experiences and technology with Africa. The two sides can strengthen cooperation in the fields of environmental governance, renewable energy, ecological protection, etc.; jointly address climate change and environmental challenges; and promote green development and the realization of sustainable development.

It is undeniable that China-Africa cooperation not only has significant implications for the development of both sides but also has a positive and far-reaching impact on regional and global peace, stability and prosperity. China-Africa cooperation is an important part of the "Belt and Road" initiative, aiming to build a closer regional partnership through connectivity, consultation, and building and sharing, to achieve common development and prosperity of humanity. China and Africa will further strengthen cooperation, promote the "Belt and Road" Initiative to land and implement in distant lands for mutual benefit and win-win, and promote China-Africa cooperation to a new level.

I believe that as long as we are sincere and united as brothers, multilateralism overcomes hegemony, peace and justice overcome selfishness and self-interest. Creating a good community with a shared future for mankind has become the main melody of the world, and the beautiful great unity of the world is not very far away.

The author is a research assistant of Institute of West-Asian and African Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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