By Xinhua Writer Wang Xiaopeng
JOHANNESBURG, (Xinhua) --
Driving locomotives, exporting garments to other
continents and setting up industrial parks ... The
industrialization dream the African people have been pursuing
since they attained self-rule decades ago is gradually being
realized thanks to Chinese capital, technology and skills.
Chinese firms have
been investing heavily in industrial parks and special economic
zones that have sprung up in many African countries, which are
determined to diversify their economies and reap the benefits of
widely-believed that China has played an important role in
Africa’s economic transition, wealth generation and job
and Kombolcha industrial parks, set up by Chinese companies at a
cost of 100 million and 90 million U.S. dollars respectively,
have come to symbolize the East African country’s ambition to
become a manufacturing hub.
industrial park, built by China Civil Engineering Construction
Corporation and unveiled in July 2016, has become a model for
attracting high-tech manufacturing companies in the textile and
investment certainly fits in the overall picture of Ethiopia’s
industrial development. Arkebe Oqubay, board chairperson of the
Ethiopian Industrial Park Corporation, told Xinhua during a
recent interview that more industrial parks will be set up to
ensure that manufacturing contributes about 20 percent of the
country’s GDP and 50 percent of exports by 2025.
Kenya, meanwhile, is
also banking on Chinese investment in modern infrastructure to
grow its manufacturing sector, with the Nairobi-Mombasa standard
gauge railway serving as an example.
unveiled in mid-2017, is considered a flagship of Kenya’s Vision
2030, a development plan that seeks to drive the East African
powerhouse into “a newly industrializing, middle-income
The modern railway
project, an early result of the China-proposed Belt and Road
Initiative, will not only boost cross-border trade and regional
integration but also invigorate Kenya’s manufacturing sector,
which contributes an estimated 10 percent of GDP.
modern railway is estimated to have boosted the African
country’s GDP by 1.5 percent and have created nearly 50,000
Kenyan jobs, according to official figures.
The C&H Garments
Ltd, a Chinese-invested enterprise producing African-themed
clothes as well as uniforms for Rwanda’s forces, has employed
some 1,500 local people so far.
jobs, Chinese firms have also been helping the local workforce
develop skills, having contributed to the manufacturing
revolution in African countries, including Tanzania.
Company, based in Dar es Salaam, is one of the biggest investors
in Tanzania’s mining and manufacturing sectors. S. Krishna, a
former small business owner who joined the Chinese firm in 2014,
said he has benefited immensely from it.
“Working with the
Sunshine Industrial Company not only offered me a new set of
business skills, but also changed my way of thinking,” Krishna
told Xinhua during a recent interview.
Tony Sun, executive
director of the company, said a limited pool of highly trained
personnel is an impediment to the development of labor-intensive
industries in Tanzania.
“That is why
professional training should be so important for every Chinese
enterprise seeking to develop in Africa,” he said.
INSPIRATION AND FUTURE
policymakers and observers agree that China-Africa industrial
cooperation has a promising future and there is a need to
nurture it for the long haul.
Obed Bapela, South
Africa’s deputy minister of cooperative governance and
traditional affairs, said the development of special economic
zones, in which Chinese companies play a big role, will boost
growth of local industries and create jobs for the youth.
The South African
official noted that revitalizing Africa’s industrial agenda will
be a major topic at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation to be held in September.
Themed “China and
Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future
through Win-Win Cooperation,” the Beijing summit is expected to
enable China and Africa to pursue high-quality and high-standard
cooperation for mutual benefit and common development.
Chinese companies will continue their efforts in promoting the
industrial development of Africa.
communications manager at the Uganda National Bureau of
Standards, said that more Chinese companies have applied for
permits to establish factories in Uganda and manufacture
construction materials and household items.
“This means that
Chinese certified companies are committed to producing quality
products and thereby making a positive contribution to Uganda’s
industrialization efforts,” said Muhwezi.
As Chinese firms
move ahead, African governments are taking action
secretary general of Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party, told Xinhua
in a recent interview that his country has created an
environment conducive to attracting Chinese investments in its
“It is crucial for
the country to engage with China and grow our industrial sector
that is key to prosperity and job creation for unemployed
youth,” Tuju said.
Tuju said he was
especially impressed by China’s tremendous achievement in
“There is no
precedent in the history of mankind. If China can achieve that,
it gives us a flicker of hope,” he said.
(Xinhua writers Jing Jing, Zhao Xi, Wang Shoubao, Lyu Tianran,
Zhang Gaiping and Li Sibo contributed to the story)