By Cosmas Omegoh
China’s Consul General in Lagos, Chu Maoming, has hailed his country and Africa’s efforts at turning around the economic misfortune caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
In a release, Maoming expressed happiness that China -Africa relations had continue to thrive even during the pandemic, recalling that China had sought to increase her investment in Africa to boost the continent’s economy.
“Ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, China and Africa have supported one another with good faith, further enriching their brotherhood. In this way, China and Africa have shown the world how a bilateral relationship can continue to thrive despite a raging pandemic.
“During difficult times, China and Africa are working hand in hand in accelerating economic recovery.
“On one hand, the African Union recently announced that the pandemic has plunged the continent into its first recession in 25 years, calling for prioritizing African integration to accelerate its economic revival; on the other hand, the Chinese Government encourages and supports Chinese enterprises to make more and more investments in Africa.”
He noted that “facts and figures show that investment cooperation is a strong engine for the qualitative upgrading of the practical cooperation between China and African nations,” while recalling that “China is one of the largest investors in Africa. Despite the negative impact of Covid-19, China’s investment in Africa climbed from $2.71 1billion in 2019 to $2.96 billion in 2020.”
According to Maoming, ‘the shining achievements bring the hope of economic recovery against the pandemic. In addition to the quantitative increase, China’s investment in Africa also presents a qualitative leap forward to make great contributions to the industrialization and employment in the African continent. Excellent Chinese companies such as Huawei and Tecno are committed to the information, communications, and other emerging sectors in Africa and presented a number of high-quality flagship investment projects. A number of Belt and Road projects remain ongoing across Africa even amid the pandemic.”
He added that “though Chinese companies are newcomers investing in Africa, they are shifting from ‘going to Africa’ to ‘rooting in Africa.’ The Chinese Government encourages Chinese companies to blend with local communities, assume social responsibilities, and create benefits for the local people.”
He was upbeat that “Chinese enterprises are becoming a significant force in boosting Africa’s economic development and improving livelihoods. They have not only actively supported local Covid-19 containment and prevention measures, promoted the resumption of work and daily life, and provided materials, vaccines and technical assistance, but also facilitated trade and investment in Africa. A special survey by the China-Africa Business Council of nearly 100 key Chinese private enterprises from June to July this year found their proportion of reinvestment in Africa to be around 30 percent.”
Maoming further noted that “while boosting the shift of Chinese and African economy and society to digitalization and the expansion of consumption in both China and Africa, e-commerce helps African products tap the Chinese market. Not only does this allow Chinese consumers to buy African goods at a better price and increases China’s imports from Africa, but is also conducive to pulling Africa through the current anti-pandemic difficulties and fulfilling the African people’s aspirations for a better life.”
He expressed optimism that the launch of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) African Products Online Promoting Season & on September 6, 2021, “is just an important action to carry out the China-Africa Partnership Plan on Digital Innovation that China proposed not long ago.
“It shows once again that the Chinese side never leaves any of its initiatives to visions or on paper only but translates them into actions in a planned manner.”
He added that “indeed, what China and Africa have done together during the pandemic testifies to their determination to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future, and has become living proof of the importance of unity in the face of global challenges.”
He promised that “this year, the FOCAC gathering in Dakar will be held as scheduled. The Chinese side will roll out more follow-up actions and unveil the measures for cooperation together with the African side to open a new chapter in the China-Africa community with a shared future.”