As African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is inching to take effect, diplomats have lauded the robust and diverse ties with China.
Amb. Martin Mpana, the Ambassador of Cameroon and the Dean of African Group in Beijing, extolled China-Africa relations.
He lauded the cooperation on the African Day celebration in Beijing.
He said such partnership touches “practically all conceivable spheres of development”.
“The footprints of Chinese projects are visible everywhere in Africa … (including) infrastructural development in roads, highways, building construction, mining, and water and sanitation projects, among many others,” he said.
According to Martin Mpana, the African people are striving for economic independence by building up a free trade area, after achieving political independence.
“A lot has to be done,” he added, noting that China’s investment, especially in infrastructure, helps interconnect the continent as roads, railways, airports and ports facilitate the flow of people as well as goods.
“We are relying on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” said Rahamtalla M. Osman, head of the African Union (AU) Mission to China, and stressed that relations and cooperation with China achieve win-win outcomes.
On the other hand, Rahamtalla M. Osman also cited that Africa’s integration and economic upgrading, which are one of the main issues and part of the African strategy, Agenda 2063 of the AU, will benefit the world economy, and will lead to more interaction with other economies.
He also admitted challenges in developing the free trade area, as well as in the economic development of the whole continent.
Therefore, Africa “would like to benefit from the experience of China … I’m already contacting with the Chinese authorities in order to invest in many grand projects in Africa,” Osman added.
The AfCFTA, which will come into effect on May 30, will establish the world’s largest free trade zone by the number of countries, covering more than 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of USD 2.5 trillion.