Windhoek - China is ready to give Africa unwavering support in infrastructure development and financial investment, among several other initiatives, as part of implementing the deals made at the 2018 Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), said Yang Jun, Chargé d'Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Namibia.
During the 4th Theo Ben-Gurirab lecture series at the Namibia University of Science and Technology last week, Jun said China is committed to supporting Africa in food security, increasing exports, ecological system programmes to combat the effects of climate change, health care, people-to-people engagement programmes, and peace and security initiatives.
The development comes after the Seventh FOCAC Summit, which was held in Beijing in September last year under the theme: ‘China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation’.
According to Jun, China pledges to support Africa in food initiatives such as increased exports of agribusiness products from China to Africa and collaboration in training facilities for agro-production.
This comes at a time when many parts of southern African are likely to face food security challenges due to low rainfalls.
“We encourage China to increase their investments in Africa in food security through agriculture assistance programmes in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. We will have 50 sustainable agribusinesses across Africa,” said Jan.
He said China will continue with infrastructure development in the form of railways, roads, building construction and will soon launch cross-border water sources in the region.
In a bid to enhance infrastructure connectivity and China-Africa relations, China intends to establish a single Africa airport market and open direct flights between Africa and China.
The country is devoted to establishing ecological system programmes to reduce the effects of climate change and protect the flora and fauna.
“China will promote the establishment of the China-Africa environmental cooperation centre where environmental dialogues, training, policies and joint forces to combat effects of climate change are effected,” Jun said.
In terms of youth empowerment through education and training, China is devoted to offering 50,000 government scholarships to Africa.
China promised to establish more African cultural centres in China and more Chinese cultural sites in Africa to promote cultural integration.
China will also launch a security and peace initiative dubbed ‘China-Africa peace security fund to host security peace law and order to dissolve terrorism.
Speaking at the same event, Namibia's Deputy Prime Minister and International Relations Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, described China as an all-weather friend.
She said the cooperation between China and Namibia is based on win-win principles just like any other bilateral relations that Namibia has with other countries globally.
“As the Minister of Foreign Affairs, I always engage with different stakeholders anywhere in the world in a manner that benefits both us and our partners. I know for this I have the support of our people. The engagement with China through FOCAC allows African countries to engage on principles that re-affirm our key developmental plans,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah added that the implementation of projects driven by Namibia and China is essential for growing the relations between the two countries.
All the Chinese initiatives will be implemented through the US$60 billion China’s President Xi Jinping pledged during the 7th FOCAC Summit. The pledge will be disbursed in a space of three months.
Of the total money pledged, US$15 billion will come in grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, US$20 billion for credit lines and US$10 billion for a special fund for development financing.