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African Scholars Highlight China’s
Role In The Continent’s Taking Off

Speaking to Xinhua on the sidelines of a conference on the quest for economic transformation in Africa, the academicians hailed China’s contribution to a new African renaissance.

Economists, policymakers and researchers from a pan African think-tank attending the Nairobi conference agreed that the continent has benefitted from China’s rise.

China will play a major role in the next phase of economic transformation in Africa. Our partnership with the Asian giant is more critical this decade as we chart a new path of progress and prosperity,” the President of the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), Kingsley Amoako said.

The world’s second largest economy has intensified investments in Africa with trade increasing from 10 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to an estimated 200 billion dollars in 2013, four years after overtaking the U.S. as the continent’s largest trading partner.

The pan African think-tanks in their in-depth reports contend that China has largely contributed to the continent’s economic growth through trade, investments, infrastructural development and technology transfer.

China’s demand for our commodities has fuelled current economic growth. African countries must engage China to learn best practices on diversification and export competitiveness,” Amoako said.

He added that Chinese capital and technology is required to enable African countries develop their extractive industries.

The Acting Director General, Kenya’s Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Gituro Wainaina noted that China has presented to Africa a viable model of economic transformation.

As for now, China is busy supporting African economies in key areas like energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. China has invested heavily in this continent and will definitely contribute to our economic revival,” Wainaina said.

Kenya has engaged Chinese firms to develop large scale infrastructure projects like roads, ports and railways. Wainaina stressed that infrastructure upgrade will promote regional trade, capital flows and job creation.

China Africa Consulting Limited MD, Helen Hai noted that Africa’s nascent industrial sector has potential for growth thanks to abundant supply of labour and raw materials.

The manufacturing and retail sectors in Africa are now vibrant and Chinese companies intend to set base in the continent to produce high quality goods for export,” said Hai.

She revealed that a Chinese factory that opened shop in Ethiopia and Rwanda recently has created thousands of jobs through production of leather shoes for export.

China’s private sector is keen to invest in Africa where young and skilled labour is abundant. Africa is the next frontier for labour intensive manufacturing,” Hai told Xinhua.

She noted that for Africa to realize industrial revival, countries must prioritize infrastructure development and skills upgrade.

Development of new roads, ports and railway lines will facilitate movement of goods and services to boost Africa’s competitiveness. African countries should understand their comparative advantage and leverage on it to realize an industrial taking off,” Hai said.

Chief Economist at the African Center for Economic Transformation, Yaw Ansu stressed that the symbiotic relationship between China and Africa herald growth and prosperity in the continent.

China has financial resources that can be invested in Africa. Its huge population can offer a steady market for our goods. We need to go further and request China to establish factories here,” Ansu said.

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