KHARTOUM, (Xinhua) --
Sudan expects to play a bigger role in China-proposed
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which provides a good opportunity
for Sudan to upgrade its infrastructure and promote its economic
development through cooperation with China, Sudanese analysts said.
The initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013,
includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century
Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure
network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient
Silk Road trade routes.
“Sudan agreed to the Chinese initiative from its onset and has
declared readiness to be a major partner,” Hassan al-Saouri, a
political science professor at Al Neelain University, told Xinhua.
He praised the “deeply-rooted historical relations between Sudan and
China,” which have paved the way for enhancing bilateral strategic
The China-Sudan cooperation has been fruitful in the past decades.
Thanks to the funding and technological aid from China, Sudan has
largely achieved energy independence by establishing its own oil
industry. China is also helping Sudan transform its economy via
agricultural assistance, including in the field of cotton industry.
China has remained as the biggest trade partner for Sudan for many
years, while Sudan has been as a major African trade partner for
Al-Saouri said that as Sudan serves as a bond linking the Arab world
and African countries, it can play a major part in the BRI.
“If we look into ancient history, we will find that Sudan’s eastern
ports on the Red Sea coast previously constituted a meeting point
for the commercial convoys from China toward Africa,” said al-Saouri,
who is also the chairman of the Sudanese Society for Political
Through the BRI, China can help Sudan develop railways, roads, and
ports, al-Saouri said.
It is the “ancient dream” of the African continent to be linked by
rail “from South Africa in the south to Egypt in the north, and from
the Red Sea in the east to Senegal on the Atlantic Ocean in the
west,” he noted.
Abdul-Rahim Al-Sunni, a political analyst at the Khartoum Economic
and Political Research Center, said that his country will benefit
most from the energy projects within the BRI.
Sudan is earnestly considering establishing its first nuclear power
station for peaceful use in cooperation with China, in addition to
building solar power farms and more dams for irrigation and
electricity generation, Al-Sunni told Xinhua.
Agriculture represents another major field of cooperation between
Sudan and China under the BRI, Al-Sunni said.
“Sudan needs the Belt and Road Initiative, which provides
opportunities for it ... to promote sustainable development and
infrastructure projects,” he said.
The Belt and Road Initiative has earned support from more than 100
countries and international organizations.
Belt and Road Initiative unique
opportunity for Ethiopia, Africa: scholar
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) --
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative brings
positive impetus for Ethiopia and other African countries in terms
of both its financing and the geographical area it covers, an
Ethiopian scholar said on Thursday.
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic advisor to
the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission
for Africa (ECA), told Xinhua on Thursday that “more than any other
nation in Africa, Ethiopia is the first beneficiary of the
initiative through the Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail link.”
“The industrial parks, the new airports and potentially the Eritrean
ports that are now accessible to Ethiopia can also further benefit
from the initiative,” he said.
The scholar said that the initiative has emphasized infrastructure
projects such as railways, highways, and airways, adding that it has
brought various opportunities for Africa’s infrastructure
development over the past few years.
Costantinos, also professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa
University in Ethiopia, further lauded the initiative for its target
to economically integrate the countries through connectivity
The expert also indicated that, in order to further strengthen the
Belt and Road initiative’s potential for African countries’
development, the upcoming Beijing Summit of the Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) must include various key factors.
According to him, such factors include industrial and agricultural
technology and knowledge transfer initiatives for structural
transformation in Africa, as well as how African countries can
better utilize natural resources for the continent’s development.
He also advised the pan African bloc, the African Union (AU), to use
the upcoming FOCAC Summit to assemble the resolve to streamline
business relations with China, so as to assist its member countries’
Ethiopia - as one of the countries cooperating with China in the
implementation of the initiative - had in fact years ago
accomplished the 500-million-dollar Addis Ababa-Adama expressway
that has become the first expressway in Ethiopia and East Africa.
The 85-km expressway, which was inaugurated in May 2014, was funded
partly by the Export-Import Bank of China and built by China
Communications Construction Company using Chinese technology and
Speaking to Xinhua, Meles Alem, Spokesperson of the Ethiopian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also affirmed last week the east
African country’s strong commitment to further strengthen engagement
with China, mainly with the help of the upcoming FOCAC summit, which
he said “will be a good showcase of the South-South Cooperation.”
Alem emphasized that the upcoming FOCAC summit comes at a time of
rapidly growing economic, political and educational ties between the
African continent and China.
“Many Africans are trained in China. Chinese experts are also
contributing to the development endeavors of the continent.
Therefore, FOCAC would continue to be an important instrument in the
diplomatic ties between our continent and China.” he further said.