Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Chinese Envoy Proclaims ‘Twin-Engines’ of BRI and FOCAC Will Transform Africa

Aug. 29, 2018 (EIRNS)—Zhou Yuxiao, Chinese Ambassador to the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), spoke of the historic impact of the FOCAC summit, in an interview with Xinhua yesterday. His observations come as many African heads of state are already arriving in Beijing, even before the Sept. 3-4 formal sessions of the forum take place. Founded in 2000, FOCAC has had two previous heads-of-state meetings, one in 2006 and one in 2015.

Zhou said that the China-Africa collaboration had proceeded in small steps, but successfully over the years. All the while, China’s ability to “walk the walk,” and Africa’s success in collaborating, made things work, to the point of widespread trust and effectiveness. At the 2015 FOCAC meeting in South Africa, China pledged financing in the range of $60 billion for implementing ten cooperation plans announced at the time. Now financing is also coming from the Silk Road Fund, the BRICS New Development Bank, and private Chinese firms.

Xinhua summarized,

“A key aspect to watch, Zhou said, will be how China and Africa link the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, and African countries’ development plans.”

This year, diplomatic relations were established between the African Union Commission (currently headed by Rwanda) and FOCAC. Zhou referred to the BRI and FOCAC as being “twin engines” for further driving cooperation in Africa.

Many African leaders and experts are forecasting what lies ahead.

Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane said in an Aug. 22 Xinhua interview that the upcoming summit

“is a landmark in the world aiming to improve itself for the survival of the human race, which faces multiple challenges today ... the commitment is not only to specific countries in Africa, but to Africa in general.”

China is a “true friend” of Lesotho, not

“by word of mouth ... but through actions, actions that push us to go from the situation of being underdeveloped to a situation of being developed. What more can you wish for from a friend than to stretch a hand of friendship in order to raise you up when you were flat on your stomach?”

Thabane further pointed out that relations with China are “mutually beneficial.” In the past, for Western countries, the benefit was “always for what they call ‘the Mother country.’ Now, China is not like that, that is why we feel like we have a true and loyal friend in China.”

Hisham AbuBakr Metwally, an Egyptian researcher with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry, wrote an Aug. 21 opinion column for CGTN’s website, “FOCAC—Unprecedented Successful Mechanism, Reshaped Africa,” reviewing accomplishments in rail, agriculture, energy, education, and other areas in Africa, thanks to work with China to date. But he forecast more and bigger projects and a bright future. “After the completion of all mega infrastructure projects and industrial zones, the continent will change completely.”

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