DAR ES SALAAM — China’s proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has provided a solid platform for international cooperation, speakers at an international seminar in Tanzania’s commercial hub of Dar es Salaam said.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the BRI proposed by China in 2013 to promote policy coordination, facilities connectivity, free trade, the seminar was held on Friday with the theme „China-Africa Vision: Towards a Sustainable Future”. Financial integration, and people-to-people bonding among all countries in the world.
Deputy Speaker of Tanzania’s National Assembly, Mussa Azzan Zungu, said the BRI is another milestone in China-Africa cooperation, complementing the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
„This initiative has attracted many African members of FOCAC, where they have joined the Belt and Road Initiative family. It has indeed injected a strong impetus into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership,” Zungu said at the symposium. Chinese Embassy in Tanzania in collaboration with China Global Television Network (CGTN) and Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation.
He said the BRI offers East African countries an opportunity to get financing and material support for infrastructure projects. „Although many infrastructure projects have been implemented, it is clear that the region still lacks adequate railways, roads and energy pipelines, to name a few,” Sungu said.
China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Li said in a video speech at the symposium that over the past 10 years, the BRI has grown in influence, size and participation.
„It has become a popular global common good and a platform for international cooperation involving more than three-quarters of the world’s countries and more than 30 international organizations,” said Deng, adding that China has signed BRI cooperation documents with 52 African countries. The African Union Commission is a strong supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Deng said China and Africa will work together to promote Africa’s peaceful development, move towards modernization, and move forward hand in hand in building a China-Africa community with a shared future in a new era.
Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Chen Mingjian said that over the past decade, the BRI has evolved from idea to practice, from blueprint to reality and provided a solid platform for international cooperation. He stressed that the BRI has brought important development opportunities to African countries and built a new bridge for China-Tanzania friendship.
„Over the past 10 years, the Belt and Road Cooperation has mobilized nearly $1 trillion in global investment, established more than 3,000 cooperation projects, and created 420,000 jobs for participating countries, lifting nearly 40 million people out of poverty,” Chen said.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation Joseph Butiku said China and Africa share a common vision and a common destiny.
„While implementing the PRI, China and Africa must come together and use available resources for the development of mankind,” Budiku said, calling for peace, unity and people-centered development.
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