Letters of friendship: Television set, HQ and FOCAC

By WANG XIAODONG in Beijing and OTIATO OPALI in Nairobi, Kenya |
China Day by day |
Current: 2021-10-25 09:31

A technician from China’s StarTimes installs Television satellite gear in the Wakiso district of central Uganda on Sept 10. ZHANG GAIPING/XINHUA

Michael Ng’ang’a, a plumber in Kiambu county in Kenya, could not look at television ahead of 2018 since of a deficiency of satellite Tv, so experienced been deprived of news, education and leisure.

“I stored arranging to invest in a set-top box, but what I was earning was just more than enough for simple requires,” reported Ng’ang’a, 47, a father of three.

Things commenced to improve three decades in the past when he was furnished with a absolutely free electronic established-leading box, a dish and equipment by a Chinese organization. With his personal Television established he has been capable to check out written content these types of as news and football, and his little ones like looking at cartoons.

Like Ng’ang’a, tens of millions of people today in remote regions of Africa have been equipped to link to the outside earth through satellite Tv set in excess of the past various yrs, because of to a undertaking that is the final result of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, or FOCAC.

The venture, declared by China during the FOCAC in 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, aims to connect 10,000 villages in Africa to satellite Television set. The challenge experienced been accomplished in a lot more than 8,000 villages in 20 countries, which includes Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Uganda, by August, claimed Ma Shaoyong, a supervisor in cost of abroad functions at StarTimes, the Chinese corporation in cost of the task.

Since the forum was founded in 2000 China-Africa collaboration has steadily developed. The benefit of bilateral trade exceeded $200 billion in 2019, a 20-fold maximize about 2000, claimed a report by the China-Africa Organization Council.

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Underneath FOCAC, China has invested in projects masking quite a few places, infrastructure remaining a critical a person. Amongst 2016 and 2018 alone China undertook a lot more than 200 infrastructure initiatives in nations which include Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya in regions such as transport, electrical energy, telecommunications and power, the report stated.

Lots of landmark projects have been implemented in Africa driven by FOCAC, which includes the Mombasa-Nairobi Conventional Gauge Railway, opened in May 2017. The 480-kilometer line, connecting Kenya’s two largest cities, has considerably facilitated transportation for neighborhood people and reduced transport expenditures involving Nairobi and Mombasa by as a lot as 40 percent. It is just one of the greatest infrastructure projects considering the fact that Kenya gained independence in 1963.

Design of the headquarters of the African Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance, below the African Union, commenced with Chinese support late final 12 months.

Landmark initiatives

China has also engaged with regional bodies in the latest several years in Africa to undertake crucial landmark development projects across the continent.

In 2012 the African Union inaugurated its headquarters in the Ethiopian money, Addis Ababa. The $200 million challenge was funded by China as a present to the AU, turning into a important image of friendship in between China and the AU.

In 2018 it was declared that the new headquarters of the Financial Local community of West African States, or ECOWAS, would be developed by China. The economic bloc and China signed a memorandum of understanding for the project, envisioned to value $31.6 million.

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Dung P. Sha of the Nigerian Countrywide Institute of Plan and Strategic Scientific studies mentioned FOCAC has grow to be a major platform for participating in numerous sorts of economic and trade collaboration between China and Africa, focusing on agriculture, infrastructure constructing and human resources progress.

“FOCAC draws its power from the China-Africa policy anchored in the motivation of China to adhere to the ideas of tranquil coexistence, respect for decision of political process and development route, as properly as the marketing of the enhancement of society and the overall economy. Furthermore, the policy supports African unity and cooperation as effectively as the African Union for self-improvement the strengthening and development of a very long-time period, steady political connection with Africa showcased in friendship, mutual rely on and cooperation as a result of visits and exchanges, and economic assistance with no political situations attached.”

Very good option

The future FOCAC, to be held in Senegal this 12 months, will be yet another great opportunity for China and Africa to deepen friendship and cooperation in all areas, reported Martin Mpana, dean of the African diplomatic corps and Cameroon’s ambassador to China.

Around the earlier 50 decades given that China resumed its seat at the United Nations, China and Africa have labored collectively to establish good relations, but additional desires to be performed, Mpana mentioned at a forum of international college students from Africa this month. “China-Africa cooperation is mutually beneficial. In certain, we can intensify cooperation in infrastructure and engineering, which China excels at.”

Aliko Dangote, founder of the Dangote Group, an industrial conglomerate in Lagos, Nigeria, reported Africa requirements financial investment in infrastructure to strengthen its people’s quality of life, and expanding Chinese expense pushed by FOCAC is helping to do this.

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“The continent desires partnerships to push reforms and alterations, like new factories and enterprises to offer employment for the bulging youth inhabitants. The infrastructure hole in Africa is more than $400 billion. Any exertion to bridge this gap is constructive for efficiency, output and development.”

By numerous cooperation discounts arrived at by China and Africa, new deep seaports, airports, streets and bridges, as properly as industrial parks have been designed throughout Africa, which has contributed to community techniques schooling, Dangote mentioned.

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