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China transformational partner for African development: Kenyan expert

12 August 2016, 15:26

Mombasa  (Xinhua) -- China has been a transformational partner from the standpoint of Africa's development, a Kenyan expert said on Thursday.

Prof. Lemma Senbet, executive director of African Economic Research Consortium, said China is playing a vital role in mitigating the resource curse in Africa by helping transform the natural resource comparative advantage into an advantage for sustained development.

"China has emerged as Africa's largest trading partner, but China's engagement with Africa is not just limited to minerals and oil. It is multifaceted and multilayered," said Senbet here during the China-Africa Media & Think-Tanks Symposium Gala Dinner.

Senbet noted that China has been a key source of investment in Africa, especially in infrastructure, such as dams, roads, airports and railway.

China is also a key source of long-term finance, said the expert, adding that the lion's share of long-term financing for the Mombasa-Nairobi project was provided by China in the form of concessionary loans.

"No doubt the China-Africa economic cooperation is at the center of transportation and infrastructure development," Senbet said.

Senbet added that to move forward, the cooperation should venture more into areas of industrialization and value chains, design of innovative finance scheme and soft infrastructure -- capacity building, skills development, legal systems.

He stressed that for sustainability, it is important that China and Africa also foster relationship in other spheres apart from that fostered by government actors.

"That is why I believe this Africa-China think tank partnership is important. It provides an opportunity to foster relationships among the grassroots," added Senbet.

- Xinhua


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