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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Experts seek innovative approaches to
finance Africa infrastructure development   

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- African economies need to come up with innovative approaches to mobilize funds to finance infrastructure development as a prerequisite for deepening continental integration, experts said Monday.

Innovative strategies that will help mobilize funds and bridge the gap in infrastructure are needed as Africa focus on implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), said Hanan Morsy, director of Macroeconomic Policy, Forecasting and Research Development at the African Development Bank, at a panel session during the African Economic Conference in Rwandan capital city Kigali.

There is a need to mobilize ways of funding infrastructure development, for instance using sovereign wealth funds, diaspora funds and the private equity, said Morsy.

Africa’s infrastructure development needs are substantial and go beyond what donors and continental, regional and multilateral development banks can provide, according to Kipyego Cheluget, assistant secretary general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

African economies need to think of innovative approaches to mobilize funds from the private sector to finance infrastructure, said Dieudonne Dukundane, chief executive officer of Central Corridor Transport and Transit Facilitation Agency, a multilateral agency formed by an agreement by the five governments of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

African countries need to focus on the areas where returns are sufficient to attract the private sector, he said.

Experts at the panel session said Africa’s infrastructure deficit has been the root of many challenges for regional and continental integration, for example inadequate roads, ports and railway networks have considerably raised the cost of transportation and trade in Africa.

The 13th edition of the annual conference, organized by the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is held under the theme “Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development.”

The conference that runs to Wednesday, focuses, among others, on initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration, including the removal of barriers for movement of people and goods and services across borders. 

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EARLIER REPORTS:

Chinese investment in Africa good for Africa’s development: official

KIGALI (Xinhua) -- The current Chinese investment in Africa, most especially in infrastructure development, is good for the continent to achieve economic and social transformation on the continent, an official of African Development Bank (AfDB) said here Monday.

“Chinese investments are highly welcome to Africa,” Gabriel Negatu, director general of AfDB East Africa regional development and business delivery office, told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the ongoing African Economic Conference that opened on Monday.

Private investment from China, especially in transport, energy and industrial development, would help Africa to speed up the implementation of a continental free trade area, said Negatu.

“China has become Africa’s great development partner, because the Chinese government has been able to support heavy infrastructure projects like the Kenya Standard Gauge Railway, among others,” he said.

“It is us Africans who need to decide what it is that we want China to invest in. Today the west is not able to support that kind of big infrastructure developments in Africa,” he added.

The 13th edition of the annual conference, organized by the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is held under the theme “Regional and Continental Integration for Africa’s Development.”

The conference that runs to Wednesday, focuses, among others, on initiatives for accelerating progress in infrastructure integration, including the removal of barriers for movement of people and goods and services across borders.

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China contributes to Kenya’s human capacity building: official

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- China over the years has contributed to Kenya’s human capacity building as bilateral economic and trade cooperation has reached an “unprecedented” level, a Chinese official has said.

In a signed article published by Kenya’s biggest newspaper Nation Daily on Monday, Guo Ce, the economic counselor of Chinese Embassy in Kenya said human resource training has always been an important area of bilateral cooperation.

According to Guo, nearly 10,000 Kenyan government officials have been to China to participate in training seminars since the launch of China-sponsored Human Resources Training Program in 2001.

He said vocational training projects, which is aimed at building the capacity of technical talents in Kenya, has made impressive progress. From 2015 to this year, Chinese enterprises have offered 60,000 training opportunities for managers, skilled workers, doctors, teachers, and industry personnel.

Guo said that China has assisted in the completion of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre and will help to expand the Kenya Railway Training Institute and establish the China-Africa Teachers College of Vocational Education. “This will help to equip Kenyans with advanced acknowledge and technical skills,” he said.

According to him, the Chinese government has also funded more than 1,000 Kenyan students to study in China. This year alone, more than 100 students have won the Ambassador Scholarship, Chinese Government Scholarship and Ministry of Commerce Scholarship.

In addition, hundreds of students have obtained scholarships from Confucius Institutes and other Chinese enterprises and organizations based in the Kenya.

He said that China will increase foreign aid in training to meet the needs of Kenya’s economic and social development. “We hope to continuously develop the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between our countries.” said Guo.

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