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ADB to bridge Africa/China cooperation

By Amaka Agwuegbo
President of African Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Donald Kaberuka, has said the African Development Bank is poised to be an important bridge to further deepen and improve the mutually beneficial cooperation between Africa and China.

Pointing out that though China’s experience could not be transplanted directly to Africa, Donald Kaberuka, who is on a four-day official visit to China, at the invitation of China’s central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, said cooperation between China and Africa is welcomed by both sides, especially as China has been an active member of the ADB since it joined the African Development Fund (ADF) in 1985.

Kaberuka noted that vigorous efforts are being made to implement Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s proposals on exploring new ways to further Sino-African cooperation in various spheres. Wen made the proposal at the ADB’s 42nd annual board meetings in Shanghai in 2007.

Speaking on the ongoing global financial crisis  and its ‘economic and development crisis’ on Africa, Kaberuka said “The African economy fell into a full recession with economic growth dropping to less than 2 per cent from its pre-crisis level of 6 per cent as both exports of raw materials and investments shrank.”

Though Kaberuka is optimistic that Africa would walk out of crisis in 2010, with the economic recovery in China, India and Europe and the growing demand for raw materials, he pointed out that South Africa, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt had done a better job to tackle the crisis by developing a more diversified economy rather than depend on the export of a single product.

“These countries have also done well in macro-economic management, resulting in steady national economic performance and relatively low deficit. Besides, they gave high priority to enhancing regional economy and trade.”

He urged other African countries to readjust their economic structures, improve economic conditions and attract more investments by opening up their markets. Kaberuka said China’s presence in Africa has a long history and friendship between China and Africa goes back to ancient times.

“I still remember China’s construction of the Tanzania-Zambia railways in the 1970s. At that time, I was a young man in Tanzania and I had traveled by the train twice. It left me with an unforgettable memory. Currently, their cooperation takes on new forms.

“In a period of 30 years, China has made great progress, improved people’s living standard and reduced the number of poor people. There are so many lessons and experiences for other countries.

“Although China’s experience could not be transplanted directly to Africa, the ADB would like to be an important bridge for their cooperation, especially in the fields of renewable energy and technology.”

The ADB president also expressed the wish to explore new ways and new forms to consolidate, strengthen and expand cooperation between both sides during his upcoming China visit. He said the ADB would like to be an important bridge for their cooperation, especially in the fields of renewable energy and technology.


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