By George Pemba-Malawi News Agency
President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has said Africa has agreed to support the Belt and Road initiative, a Chinese concept that seeks to connect china with countries in Asia and Africa through road networks, sea lanes and also infrastructure development.
Mutharika was speaking Friday in China where he went to attend the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit which was held from 3rd to 4th September in Beijing, before departure for Malawi.
He said African leaders have agreed to safeguard the multilateral trading system and support global development.
“As Africans, we were pleased to learn that China continues to treat African countries as partners for mutual benefit- they don’t see themselves as donors -so there are no donors and receivers. They see themselves as mutual friends and partners,” he said.
He said China which has since donated a total of USD60 billion to Africa for various development initiatives, has reiterated its policy of non-interference in African countries in pursuit of development, non-interference in international affairs, no-imposition of China’s will on African countries, non-attachment of political strings in investments and cooperation and no conditionalities.
“So we find this approach as wise and productive and we have therefore assured China leaders that on our part, we will continue to adhere to the principle of friendly cooperation and support one China policy and also support eventual peaceful reunification of China,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika’s sentiments augur well with what South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, outgoing FOCAC Chairperson said that China-Africa partnership is the best of partnerships African countries have ever entered into.
“As African countries, we have found out that FOCAC is the most meaningful partnership that there is in the world today because it is based on a win-win approach where all of us would want all of us succeeding and is not based on principles of winning while the others lose,” Ramaphosa said.
He said Africa has agreed to work together with China to accelerate industrialization, modernization, infrastructure investments and skills development.
“While noting the progress that has been made over the past 18 years, we accept that there is much more still that needs to be done to ensure that there is stability, prosperity and inclusiveness in our respective countries.
“We are however, pleased to learn that all the 16billion dollars that was pledged by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping in 2015 at the South Africa FOCAC summit has been allocated to projects and many key projects have been completed and a number are in the process of being completed as well giving credence to the notion that FOCAC is an action-oriented pact of partnership between Africa and China.
In his closing address of the FOCAC summit on Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping disclosed that his government has committed to African countries USD60billion to be tapped by the African countries for various development initiatives in their respective countries.
To access the fund African countries will have to submit proposals of the various development projects they would like to undertake in the respective countries and depending on the viability of the projects, the funds will be released for the implementation of the same.-Mana