China-Africa relations will surely develop further with great potential to be exploited for cooperation, said experts last Thursday.
They made the remarks at a conference titled “Africa-China Industrial and Infrastructural Cooperation: Drivers and Prospects.”
Salim Kaunda, research director at Policy Monitoring and Research Center, a Zambian think tank, saw great potential to be unlocked for China-Africa cooperation, citing a power generation project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He called for collaboration with China in building the Grand Inga Dam, which has the potential capacity to meet more than half of Africa’s energy need. “China has expertise and experience in clean energy. Africa should consider working with their Chinese counterpart in harnessing the potential of Inga dam,” Kaunda said. “China has experience and technology, and more importantly good will to work with Africa for mutual benefit, to preserve water for irrigation,” he added.
The expert urged Africa to take the opportunities provided by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and expand cooperation within the framework of the China-proposed global development initiative with a focus on infrastructure construction. “We have seen China’s strategy and they have knowledge of water recycling, water management and underground water exploitation. We can tap into the Chinese water strategy and choose what can work for us. We have to also have a continental agenda for dealing with China who has an agenda to deal with Africa,” Kaunda said.
Gedion Jalata, CEO at Center of Excellence International Consult, an Ethiopian consulting firm, said Africa has benefited from its friendship with China in areas such as foreign direct investment, development assistance and infrastructure development.
In particular, the expert pointed out the potential of exporting non-food items to China.