Don’t count on grants for de­vel­op­ment-China tells Africa

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Aus­tine Odo, Bei­jing, China

African lead­ers should stop re­ly­ing on grants from de­vel­oped coun­tries or in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions but com­mit them­selves to in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and de­vel­op­ing the ca­pac­ity for reel­ing out com­pet­i­tive prod­ucts to en­hance sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

China’s Di­rec­tor Gen­eral De­part­ment of African Af­fairs in the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Mr. Lin Song­tian, said at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the China-Africa press ex­change work­shop in Bei­jing yes­ter­day that rather than count­ing on grants, African coun­tries should em­bark on mas­sive agri­cul­tural and re­source mo­bil­i­sa­tion to pro­duce goods and ser­vices with added value.

Lin urged African lead­ers to stop in­fight­ing and em­brace unity while re­main­ing fully com­mit­ted to serv­ing the peo­ple.

“In Africa you spend too much time fight­ing one another, a leader should see the coun­try as one, be the pres­i­dent of the coun­try and not the po­lit­i­cal party, be united and com­mit­ted to serve the coun­try and the peo­ple whole­heart­edly and be ready to sac­ri­fice if nec­es­sary”, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Lin, China is ever ready to sup­port Africa speed up in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment as long as African lead­ers demon­strate sat­is­fac­tory com­mit­ment in that di­rec­tion.

“We pre­fer to help Africa man­u­fac­ture, and not just to ex­port to Africa, this is a way to help peo­ple de­velop. If you want to see in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, you need a lot of money to de­velop your in­fras­truc­ture­con­struct good roads and pro­vide elec­tric­ity among oth­ers. In China, we em­pha­sise on in­ter­ac­tions with other coun­tries be­cause if you don’t do this, you can­not con­vince peo­ple to in­vest in your econ­omy”, he added.

Pres­i­dent of the Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Chi­nese Col­lege (BICC), or­gan­is­ers of the work­shop, Mr. Geng Xuechao, said China was keen on ex­chang­ing ideas on how to help trans­form coun­tries, say­ing such ex­changes were im­por­tant to en­able the world know the true China.

Africa has re­mained China’s long-term strate­gic part­ner. In 2013, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s first visit to Africa helped to re­in­force co­op­er­a­tion with the con­ti­nent. The work­shop spon­sored by the China-Africa Press Cen­tre of the China Pub­lic Dilpo­macy As­so­ci­a­tion drew par­tic­i­pants from Nige­ria and Ghana. It aims to en­hance a com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of the Chi­nese econ­omy, cul­ture, lan­guage, ed­u­ca­tion, cus­toms and liveli­hood.

Bauchi State Gov­er­nor Mo­hammed Ab­dul­lahi Abubakar presents the re­viewed 2015 bud­get at the State House of As­sem­bly in Bauchi yes­ter­day. With him is the state APC Chair­man, Al­haji Uba Nana.

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