‘Emerging Africa’ has strong partner
South Africa sees the meeting of Chinese and African leaders on Friday and Saturday as a chance to further consolidate relations through South-South cooperation, focusing on industrialization and regional economic integration, according to a senior diplomat.
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit is being held in Johannesburg under the theme “Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development”.
The summit, which comes as the forum marks its 15th anniversary, is the first held on African soil.
“China is seen as a key partner in the new and emerging Africa,” Dolana Msimang, the South African ambassador to China, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.
She was confident of major breakthroughs being made at the summit. “There is considerable room for rapid growth in cooperation. It’s important that we continuously assess and review the opportunities and challenges. Africa is on the move, and it is ready to do business. The continent offers returns that are extremely compelling.”
South Africa’s strategic position and political influence can drive regional integration, such as developing north-south rail and road links and expanding ports and energy capacity and skills, she said.
“Africa can only benefit from the relocation of laborintensive industries from China if it can resolve the basic factors of developing a manufacturing base, which in turn implies financial capital, entrepreneurial skills and links with markets where global buyers can be met.
“The industrialization effort on the continent is dependent on African countries’ ability to attract foreign direct investment. China is
China is strategically positioned to cooperate with Africa to realize its dreams.”
strategically positioned to cooperate with Africa to realize its dreams in this regard.”
Msimang said African nations must show initiative to ensure a win-win relationship, while governments need to leverage Chinese investment for local development and should encourage involvement by local entrepreneurs in Chinese ventures.
Africa is the next frontier in terms of development, and partnering with China will yield more real results if investments create employment in a socially and environmentally sustainable way, she said.
“Indeed, the opportunities for achieving tangible results within theFOCACare plenty, in particular as Africa is positioned to improve its infrastructure ... and become part of the emerging global drive toward sustainable development. The FOCAC agenda speaks to the vision of a prosperous, united and peaceful Africa, as captured in the African Union’s Agenda 2063.”
The China-South Africa relationship is a good example of a win-win situation, since, despite the economic slowdown in China, South African enterprises still view the country as a market with enormous potential, the ambassador said.