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President Xi's visit to usher in a new era of Sino-African relations

Updated: 2015-11-26 11:04
By Rexford Kwame Narteh (chinadaily.com.cn)

President Xi's visit to usher in a new era of Sino-African relations

President Xi Jinping meets with South African President Jacob Zuma in Ufa, Russia, on July 9, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Sino-African relations go as far back as the 15th century when the Chinese explorer Zheng He sent two giraffes as a gift from Africa to the Emperor of China. In recent times, Chinese investment and trade in Africa has contributed immensely to improving the lives of ordinary Africans. President Xi Jinping's visit to Africa weeks after assuming office as the President of China signifies the importance that his administration attaches to Sino-African relations.

President Xi's visit to usher in a new era of Sino-African relations

Rexford Kwame Narteh [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The President will be visiting Zimbabwe in late November, where Chinese presence and assistance have contributed significantly to making life easier for locals. In 2014 alone, trade agreements between China and Zimbabwe generated nearly 1.2 billion dollars between the months of January and November. Zimbabwe will also be reaping the benefit of a 40 billion dollar Focac fund allocated by China to countries in Africa. From Zimbabwe, President Xi will continue his visit to South Africa which is a member of BRICS. South Africa continues to play a key role as an economic powerhouse in Africa. The President's visit to the country will further help strengthen the ties existing not just between China and Africa but also among the BRICS nations.

President Xi Jinping's address at the United Nations about China supporting a greater voice for developing countries speaks volumes. It shows the importance that China attaches to the developing world especially to countries in Africa. It also reveals the President's willingness and commitment to be a voice against underdevelopment and poverty. The win-win policies implemented by China have played a big role in the economic development of countries across the world and that includes nations in Africa.

The Chinese presence in Africa has resulted in the completion of over 1,000 projects. From the construction of factories to hospitals, from the building of stadiums to estates, the visible mark of China can be felt throughout the continent. China isn't just building modern railways in Africa but is also teaching the locals how to maintain and manage those facilities. This certainly helps in enhancing the image of China among the locals. It also helps in establishing a healthy trade and agreement between China and African countries.

Indeed, the contributions made by China to Africa's development cannot be overstated. As President Xi Jinping makes his visit to Africa, one can only hope that the Sino-African relationship will grow stronger, healthier, and bear even greater fruit. China's responsible and positive role in Africa leaves an indelible mark that is a beacon of hope for the continent.

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