China is willing to work with Africa to dovetail its Belt and Road Initiative with the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, as well as the development strategies of individual African countries to explore new opportunities and inject new impetus for Africa's development.
Résumé: La Chine est disposée à travailler avec l’Afrique pour harmoniser son Initiative ceinture et route avec l’Agenda 2063 de l’Union africaine, le Programme de développement durable des Nations Unies 2030, ainsi que les stratégies de développement des opportunités et donner un nouvel élan au développement de l’Afrique.
China’s Intended Vision
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, with more African countries expressing their interest in joining the grand project.
So far, nearly 10 African countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, and a few more are in negotiations. Recently in July, during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Africa, China signed cooperation documents with Senegal and Rwanda.
Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
On the concluded 2018 China-Africa summit
It was during the 2018 China-Africa summit that President Yoweri Museveni held a bilateral discussion with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, with both leaders witnessing the signing of three agreements (deals) between their countries.
Three Agreements (deals) signed
- Agreement on economic and technical cooperation.
- A memorandum of understanding on cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative
- An agreement on emergency humanitarian assistance.
The first agreement is worth 200 million Chinese Yuan (Over $29 million), while the third is 70 million Yuan. The second agreement, on the Silk Road Initiative, will benefit from the $60 billion that President Jinping announced during the recent Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Current China’s hand in Uganda
In his remarks, President Museveni thanked President Jinping for focusing on the strategic alliance between Africa and China since 1949.
The President also thanked the Chinese leader for supporting infrastructure projects in Uganda like the construction of the Karuma and Isimba dams, the Entebbe express high-way, expansion of Entebbe Airport and the Standard Gauge Railway project.
President Museveni also appreciated the Chinese government’s support to their private companies that have undertaken several investment projects in Uganda.
On his part, President Xi thanked his guest for attending the just-concluded FOCAC, and committed to continue strengthening the relationship between China and Uganda plus the wider African continent.
Later, President Museveni also paid a courtesy call to the Chairman of China's Top Political Advisory Body, H.E. Wang Yang, at the Diao YuTai (State Guest House) Beijing. Mr. Wang was in Uganda in June, 2018 to jointly commission the Entebbe Expressway with President Museveni.
The East Africa’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Project
- Uganda’s first phase of SGR, the (eastern) line running from Malaba to Kampala, about 273km (or 338km rail length), is expected to cost $2.3b (Shs8 trillion).
- Kenya is constructing the 120km line from Nairobi to Naivasha at a cost of $1.7b (Shs6 trillion) to be followed by the 266km line from Naivasha to Kisumu Port at $3.6b (Shs13 trillion) while the 107km line connecting to Malaba will cost $1.7b (Shs6 trillion).
- The first phase of Kenya’s SGR line running from Mombasa Port to the capital Nairobi at $3.8b (Shs13 trillion), was commissioned last year and is operational.
Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, who served as an economic advisor to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, told Xinhua that "more than any other nation in Africa, Ethiopia is the first beneficiary of the initiative through the Addis Ababa-Djibouti rail link."
The initiative has emphasized infrastructure projects such as railways, highways and airways, and brought various opportunities for the development of infrastructure in Africa over the past few years, he said.
Costantinos, also professor of public policy at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, further lauded the initiative for its target to economically integrate countries through various projects.
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN.