China’s initiative to ‘free’ Africa


The Belt and Road Initiative (B&R), a development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, will, among other things, provide new alternatives of development finance and break the ‘donor cartel’ in Africa, an associate fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, has said.

In his lecture to 35 journalists attending the 2017 Seminar for Renowned Journalists from African Countries on Sunday, Cheng Cheng said the initiative will allow African countries to maximise their development potential through aspects such as industrialisation.

The seminar, which is running from June 6 to 19, is taking place in the Chinese capital, Beijing, and has been organised by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China.


In his lecture, on ‘The Belt and Road Initiative and New Opportunities for Cooperation Between China and Africa’, Cheng said, through the initiative, African countries, like the rest of the regions which the initiative targets, will improve their infrastructure and lower transaction costs.

“We believe that through the initiative, there will be high industrialisation in Africa and that countries there will join the global value chain. It is also a good opportunity for sharing development experiences, especially in poverty reduction,” he said.

He added that China believes that Africans are business partners and not recipients of aid, despite that China has moved faster than Africa in terms of development.


On the other hand, Cheng said the best development model for Africa is always there for Africans to discover and not anyone else.

“Good policies to develop individual countries are what matter most. Even the Belt and Road Initiative is a long-term plan. That is why patience is always important when planning any development initiative,” he added.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce of China, the initiative aims to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks and realise diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries.

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