By Tichaona Chifamba, Zhang
Yuliang HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
There has been a general consensus among
some eastern and southern African countries that there
should be more usage of the Chinese yuan in the region
because of China’s growing influence in business and
trade, a financial expert said Thursday.
director of the Macroeconomic and Financial Management
Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) Caleb
Fundanga said a forum for financial experts earlier in
the week had agreed that there was need to use the
Chinese yuan as a reserve currency because China was
playing an active role in their economies.
was attended by deputy central bank governors and deputy
permanent secretaries of finance from 14 countries that
fall under MEFMI.
conclusion is that we should use the yuan more because
its time has come. We are doing more business (with
China) so it’s natural that we use the currency of the
country with which we are trading.
way we have been using the (U.S.) dollar and the Euro,
we want to use the Chinese currency more in our
transactions because it is to our benefit,” he said.
He said use
of the yuan could protect the region from currency
had also discussed the implications of using the Chinese
currency and agreed that there was need for more
information on markets and products on which it could be
moment that information is not freely available,” he
said, suggesting further that Chinese financial experts
should make the information available at such fora.
said the coming in of the yuan would give the region
more options for managing its reserves.
The use of
the yuan also came in handy because China was giving
loans to the region and other African countries.
“One of the
issues we discussed though was that sometimes if you
have borrowed from China they want to bill you in U.S.
dollars. Now we are saying our government must start
discussing with Chinese enterprises (and) government so
that we’re billed in yuan and then we can pay in yuan.
Because there is no point if we start keeping our
reserves in yuan but we’re billed in dollars. It is no
good,” he said.
acknowledged, however, that some countries were already
being billed in yuan for Chinese goods and services.
said there was also discussion on possible currency
swaps like what China had done with Nigeria, where
Nigerians travelling to China could easily access the
yuan from their local banks.
that the bulk of reserves for most countries in the
region are invested in U.S. dollars, yet their
composition has not kept pace with the large shifts in
the world economy. This is particularly so since China
and India continue to shape global economic trends as
they remain major trade partners for the region.
countries comprise Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya,
Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Top finance officials
discuss possible use of Chinese
yuan as reserve currency for eastern, southern Africa
HARARE Zimbabwe (Xinhua) --
The Chinese yuan comes under the
spotlight Tuesday and Wednesday when 17 top central bank
and government officials from 14 countries in eastern
and southern Africa meet in Harare to discuss its
possible use as a reserve currency for the region.
statement to Xinhua on Monday, spokesperson for the
Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of
Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) Gladys Siwela-Jadagu
said the event would be attended by deputy permanent
secretaries and deputy central bank governors.
from the African Development Bank and an investments
management organization will also attend the forum
bringing together the policy makers and experts in
reserves management to strategize on the weakening
external positions of most member countries, following
the global economy slowdown, she said.
for the forum is “Trends in Sovereign Reserve
“As at the
end of 2017, official reserves for most countries in the
MEFMI region stood barely at or below the traditional
three months of import cover benchmark. Foreign currency
denominated public debt continues to increase as well as
interest payments, as most countries move to more
commercial sources of borrowing to meet their increasing
appetite for infrastructure projects,” she said.
She said the
bulk of reserves for most countries in the region were
invested in U.S. dollars, yet their composition had not
kept pace with the large shifts in the world economy.
This was particularly so since China and India continued
to shape global economic trends as they remained major
trade partners for the region.
countries in the MEFMI region have loans or grants from
China and it would only make economic sense to repay in
renminbi (Chinese yuan). This is the reason why it is
critical for policy makers to strategize on progress
that the continent has made to embrace the Chinese yuan
which has become what may be termed ‘common currency’ in
trade with Africa.
of Chinese yuan in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR)
basket of currencies is an important symbol of its
importance and IMF’s approval as an official reserve
as the largest trading partner of over 130 countries,
the main challenge for African countries is how to
benefit from the new pattern of international commerce,”
that the continent could not afford to lag behind in
taking advantage of growth-enhancing opportunities with
China, as it had been clear over the last five years
that trade and investment with the West continued to be
will also discuss risk perceptions and capital flows and
financial products available for use by African
MEFMI is a
regional owned Institute with 14 member countries:
Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland, Tanzania,
Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
key to enter golden era of co-operation: scholars
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
There is need for China and African
partners to embark on a dialogue process that would lead
to improved bilateral cooperation in the light of
evolving geopolitical dynamics, said top scholars
attending the 20th Wanshou Forum in Nairobi
on Saturday. The event was held outside China for the
Chinese and Kenyan scholars attended the Wanshou Forum
that brainstormed on building a China-Africa community
of shared future through international cooperation in
advancing the Belt and Road Initiative.
Minister Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya said
that robust interactions and knowledge sharing will
catapult Sino-Africa ties to a new era of mutual
and Africa have entered a new era with new opportunities
and demands. China needs Africa more than ever and
Africa needs China more than ever too,” said Li.
that China and African countries should forge strong
ties in their pursuit of common goals like economic
growth, social renewal and environmental protection.
the first African country to host the 20th
version of Wanshou Forum whose theme was opening a new
era of China-Africa cooperation in the context of
scholars hailed the hosting of the forum to discuss
novel ways to revitalize Sino-Africa cooperation ahead
of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit
to be held in Beijing in September.
acting Vice Chancellor of Daystar University, said that
African countries could draw lessons from China’s
competitive edge in technology, innovations and economic
resilience to tackle the continent’s endemic challenges.
The Belt and
Road Initiative will help build our capacity, enhance
training, transfer of knowledge and skills to boost
economic development in Africa, Kombo remarked.
that China’s image in Africa has rapidly improved thanks
to huge investment flows into strategic areas like
manufacturing and transport infrastructure.
Deputy Secretary-General of China Council for BRICS
Think-Tank Cooperation said that robust exchanges among
Chinese and African scholars is key to addressing
threats facing both partners that include protectionism,
communicable diseases, terrorism and environmental
emphasized that both China and Africa share a common
heritage and destiny hence the need to improve
cooperation across economic, political, social and
“In the new
era, all stakeholders in China and Africa, including
think-tanks need to intensify exchange of experiences
and mutual learning and jointly explore better ways to
align development strategies and broaden development
paths,” Dong remarked.
Kenyan scholars say
China a reliable partner in realizing “African dream”
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
China’s foreign policy centered on a
win-win partnership and respect for other country’s
political structures will be key to hasten inclusive
growth, peace and stability in Africa, Kenyan scholars
who spoke at the 20th Wanshou Forum held in
Nairobi said China will continue to be an instrumental
player in Africa’s quest to modernize its
infrastructure, tackle poverty and expedite
Kagwanja, CEO of Nairobi-based think tank, Africa Policy
Institute, said that African countries are looking up to
China as a strategic partner to achieve their vision of
a continent that is prosperous, connected and peaceful.
dream has found a convergence with the African agenda
2063 that envisions a peaceful and prosperous
continent,” Kagwanja remarked.
Kenyan and Chinese scholars attended the Wanshou Forum
whose theme was opening a new era of China-Africa
cooperation in the context of South-South cooperation.
discussed diverse topics like building a China-Africa
community of shared future through cooperation in
advancing the Belt and Road Initiative.
“We need a
civilizational dialogue with China to define the next
phase of cooperation with the Asian giant. We should
also deepen win-win partnership and pick lessons from
China’s giant economic progress,” said Kagwanja.
that China-funded Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project
has been transformative in terms of spurring Kenya’s
regional economic development.
enjoyed goodwill in Africa thanks to robust investments
in critical sectors like transport, manufacturing and
information technology that are reshaping the
Ochillo, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi,
said China has filled the void created by western powers
to become Africa’s dependable partner in many spheres.
emerging for now is that China will remain an
indispensable partner as the African continent chart a
new path that leads to sustainable growth,” Ochillo
Sam Kamau, a
senior lecturer at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, said
that Sino-Africa ties will withstand stereotypical
narratives from the West to be upgraded to new levels.
forward, we expect China to remain an integral part of
the African dream. Our interests converge and we should
leverage on China’s strengths to promote our
development,” Kamau said.
China brings more
development opportunities to African countries: expert
CONAKRY Guinea (Xinhua) --
Professor Pascal Boniface, founder
and director of the French Institute for International
and Strategic Affairs (IRIS), said China has brought
more development opportunities to African countries.
presence of China has allowed African countries to have
options they did not have before,” said Boniface in an
interview with Xinhua Thursday in Guinean capital
“becoming a major actor in Africa,” he said, adding that
there was a kind of monopoly by Western countries in
Africa and the monopoly was broken by the presence of
China, Brazil and Japan.
said China’s investments in Africa involve many positive
aspects, including the construction of infrastructure,
stadiums, and so on.
and Road Initiative also offers Africa a bright
prospect, he added.
highlighted China’s important role in BRICS (the group
of five emerging countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China
and South Africa) as well as in other international
countries are carrying out cooperation with China while
maintaining cooperation with other Western and emerging
countries such as Brazil, he added.
countries need to have several partners,” said Boniface.