China rejuvenating Africa’s heart – Mugabe
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Friday praised China for the assistance it was rendering to Africa, especially through the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Addressing delegates to the ruling Zanu PF party’s annual congress in Victoria Falls, Mugabe said he had told Chinese President Xi Jinping during a FOCAC summit held last week in South Africa that the projects he had brought with him had rejuvenated Africa’s heart.
“Africa’s heart was beating low all along. But your coming and your programs have brought new blood into our hearts and the pulse of our hearts is now vigorous,” he said.
He said if the resources were handled properly, Africa would progress.
“Our brothers in Africa have to fight first and foremost for complete ownership of their resources if the assistance from China has to work,” he said.
African leaders are now seized with issues such as industrialization, infrastructural development and mining.
“We thank the Chinese for giving strength to those ideas,” Mugabe said.
At the FOCAC summit in South Africa held Dec. 4-5, China pledged 60 billion U.S. dollars in loans and grants to Africa over the next three years, with Chinese President Xi Jinping imploring Africa and China to always stand by each other as they shared a common destiny.
Xi also unveiled a 10-point economic plan for Africa which Beijing hopes will help the continent advance its ambitious Agenda 2063 development blueprint.
The plan includes financing support for, among other things, industrial, agricultural and infrastructural development in Africa.
Agenda 2063 envisions large-scale industrialization across Africa anchored on value addition and beneficiation of Africa’s vast natural resources, and Xi told the over 40 African leaders at the summit that the continent could count China as a partner in the realization of the dream.
Prior to attending the summit, President Xi had paid a state visit to Zimbabwe on Dec. 1-2, during which the two countries signed 12 investment agreements running into billions of dollars covering different sectors of the economy.
The deals include financing for the expansion of Hwange Power Station, construction of a new Parliament building and a pharmaceutical warehouse, expansion of a national fibre optic broadband project and provision of wildlife monitoring equipment.
The two governments also agreed to cooperate in the aviation sector and in promoting investment.
Xi, Mugabe said, had pledged to help Zimbabwe with projects that could help the country attain higher levels of industrialization. – Xhinua
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