Already China has expended over 50 percent of the $60 billion given to fund projects in the 10 cooperation plans outlined by President Xi Jinping at the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in South Africa in December 2015.
The profoundly good news is that the process of Chinaafrica deepening engagement on the decisive infrastructure challenge of the continent will receive a massive boost and will be further mainstreamed in the framework of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is both an all-round opening-up strategy and international plan along with public goods under the principle of wide consultation, joint contributions and shared benefits, all aimed at establishing a community of common destiny.
With the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, China has led the establishment of Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) for which more than 60 countries and regions including the rich industrialized countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have signed in. The Silk Road Fund is also up and running and disbursing funds for projects earmarked in the process.
Africa’s funding deficit could be considerably ameliorated if the region’s governments strategically engage with the global public goods, generously offered by the Belt and Road Initiative. Importantly, the Belt and Road Initiative, as an open and inclusive process driven by wide consultations, joint contributions and shared benefits, does not have the geo-political trappings seen in the U.S. Marshall Plan through which the United States helped post-world War II Europe to reconstruct and recover, but locked it into U.S. strategic national security interests, a burden which fuels the current debate about the future of the North Atlantic Alliance.