World Bank, China scale up sup­port for Africa

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

THE World Bank Group is strength­en­ing its part­ner­ship with China in sup­port of African de­vel­op­ment through two ma­jor ini­tia­tives launched dur­ing the sec­ond “In­vest­ing in Africa Fo­rum (IAF).’’

The re­cent in­ter­na­tional fo­rum was held in Guangzhou, China, a re­gion home to a large African busi­ness com­mu­nity with the aim of boost­ing in­vest­ment across Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.

The World Bank, the Chi­nese Na­tional En­ergy Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NEA) and Chi­nese Min­istry of Fi­nance have signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to strengthen en­ergy co­op­er­a­tion in Africa in clean and re­new­able power in­clud­ing so­lar, wind, geother­mal, hy­dro, nat­u­ral gas as well as power grid and off grid so­lu­tions.

“The World Bank wel­comes China’s com­mit­ment to en­ergy de­vel­op­ment in Africa, which will help in­crease the level of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and sup­port the con­ti­nent’s as­pi­ra­tion for pros­per­ity and in­clu­sive growth. Africa also has large un­tapped po­ten­tial for re­new­able en­ergy, which if de­vel­oped will help close a crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture gap and ad­dress cli­mate change at the same time,” said Jim Yong Kim, Pres­i­dent of the World Bank Group. The MoU, signed by World Bank Group Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim, Nur Bekri, Ad­min­is­tra­tor of China’s Na­tional En­ergy Ad­min­is­tra­tion, and Shi Yaobin, Vice Min­is­ter of Chi­nese Min­istry of Fi­nance rep­re­sents an im­por­tant step in deep­en­ing tri­par­tite col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween African coun­tries, China and the World Bank.

“China is more than ever com­mit­ted to Africa’s de­vel­op­ment and we value our part­ner­ship with the World Bank Africa Re­gion in joint sup­port for Africa,” said Hu Haibang, Chair­man of China De­vel­op­ment Bank, who co-hosted the fo­rum along with the Peo­ple’s Govern­ment of Guang­dong prov­ince of China. The fo­rum also saw the launch of the Africa Think Tank Al­liance (IATTA), a ground­break­ing plat­form pro­mot­ing knowl­edge shar­ing and part­ner­ships among think tanks in Africa, China and world­wide.

“The es­tab­lish­ment of the Africa Think Tank Al­liance is a win for all,” says Al­bert Ze­u­fack, the World Bank’s Africa re­gion chief econ­o­mist.

“One of the ma­jor ob­jec­tives of this ini­tia­tive is to strengthen the re­search and an­a­lyt­i­cal ca­pac­i­ties of re­search in­sti­tutes in Africa and to in­crease their in­flu­ence on the in­ter­na­tional scene,” he said.

The IATTA will also in­form cap­i­tal in­vest­ment de­ci­sions by de­vel­op­ing guide­lines, in­vest­ment plans and pol­icy sug­ges­tions to client coun­tries, he added.

This year’s fo­rum —at­tended by Pa­trice Talon, the pres­i­dent of Benin, and Ja­cob Zuma, the pres­i­dent of South Africa— brought to­gether about 300 pol­i­cy­mak­ers, pri­vate sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives and de­vel­op­ment part­ners, who shared ex­pe­ri­ences and ex­plored op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­cel­er­ate in­vest­ment in Africa.

A num­ber of pro­jects in African coun­tries with com­mit­ted or prospec­tive in­vest­ment from China were signed at the fo­rum in­clud­ing a man­u­fac­tur­ing clus­ter project with Ethiopia and an ethanol and biomass project with Sierra Leone.

“This Fo­rum has cre­ated new op­por­tu­ni­ties for Guang­dong’s en­trepreneurs to in­vest in Africa,” says Zhu Xiao­dan, Gov­er­nor of Guang­dong prov­ince.

“We share our ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ment and in­vest­ment in Africa which will re­sult in win-win out­comes for both Guang­dong prov­ince and Africa while fos­ter­ing co­op­er­a­tion in com­ple­men­tary sec­tors.”

Dur­ing the clos­ing ses­sion of the Fo­rum, Sene­gal’s Min­is­ter of Econ­omy, Fi­nance and Plan­ning, Amadou Ba, an­nounced that his coun­try will host the next In­vest­ing in Africa Fo­rum in 2017. — Ex­tracted from the world­

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