BRI opening up dev't opportunities in Africa on win-win outcomes: AU official

Anchored on win-win outcomes, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is opening up development opportunities across the African continent, an African Union (AU) official has said.

Speaking exclusively to Xinhua recently, Albert Muchanga, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the AU Commission, stressed that a growing number of African countries are now implementing the BRI, which is driving development across the continent.

"The Belt and Road Initiative in Africa is really opening up opportunities for the development of infrastructure, including energy as well as the promotion of road development; and we in Africa welcome that," Muchanga told Xinhua.

"By involving a lot of African countries, we are broadening the process; and by increasing the areas of cooperation we are deepening it," the AU commissioner said.

Muchanga recalled the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the AU and China's National Development and Reform Commission within the framework of the AU-China Cooperation Plan on the Belt and Road, covering priority sectors such as health, food security, infrastructure and energy.

"A number of countries across Africa are implementing the Belt and Road Initiative; and the recently signed MOU reflects the fact that it is also going to be implemented at the level of the African Union Commission, which is very, very, very good," he said.

"The cooperation is anchored on win-win outcomes and this is good for the two partners -- the African continent on one hand and China as a country on the other hand," the AU trade and industry commissioner added.

According to Muchanga, the MOU that was signed virtually last month is a commitment to realize the objectives of what was agreed upon between China and Africa towards the successful implementation of the BRI.

"The coordination mechanism is a platform for ensuring that whatever commitments that have been made between Africa and China are going to be implemented; and to show commitment towards its implementation," he said.

"Through this signature we say 'we are ready, we are willing and we are going to do it'," Muchanga added.

China has been Africa's largest trading partner for more than a dozen years. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, the two sides have multiplied their efforts to cooperate. Over fifty African countries and the African Union Commission have so far signed cooperation agreements with China.

Amid the growing list of African countries cooperating with China under the BRI mechanism, many African countries have realized new deep seaports, thousands of kilometers of roads and railways that have transformed logistics across Africa, among other development projects.  

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