AU keen to further enhance partnership with China in infrastructure
7 July 2017
ADDIS ABABA, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Sunday hailed China's investment in Africa's infrastructure and expressed its keen interest in seeing strengthened partnerships.
Speaking to the press during the ongoing 29th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Abou-Zeid Amani, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, acknowledged China's huge investment in infrastructure projects, information and communication technology (ICT) and energy.
"China is a big player and big partner in many sectors, such as infrastructure and ICT. China is definitely a big partner for Africa's major integration projects. We welcome the role of China," Amani said.
"The AU looks forward to a more enhanced and substantial cooperation with China," she added.
Africa lags behind other regions in many dimensions, especially in the power sector, and Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest road and railroad densities among developing regions.
The commissioner recalled that she was in Beijing in May for the Belt and Road Forum, when she met and discussed cooperation with different parties, including government officials, company representatives and the Export-Import Bank of China.
The AU official highlighted the ample opportunities unleashed by the two visionary blueprints -- the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Africa's Agenda 2063, and said that she expects to see "strong partnership."
The Agenda 2063, unveiled by the AU in 2013, aims to build "an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in international arena." Integrated High Speed Train Network is one of its flagship projects.
A report released on Wednesday by global consulting firm McKinsey said that across trade, investment, infrastructure, financing and aid, China is a top five partner to Africa, and no other country matches this level of engagement.