President Paul Kagame who is attending the 18th Forum on China-Africa cooperation has endorsed the China as a key partner in Rwanda’s development path.
Speaking Monday at the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) in Beijing, President Kagame who also doubles as African Union Chairman said Chinese engagements in the continent have portrayed Africa as a development partner.
“China’s actions have demonstrated that a stronger Africa is seen as an opportunity to invest in, rather than as a problem or a threat. China has continued to lead the way in showing what is lost in not engaging and partnering with Africa. The health and productivity of the bonds between Africa and China are self-evident. Let there be no misinterpretation on that score. Africa is not a zero-sum game. Our growing ties with China do not come at anyone’s expense. Indeed, the gains are enjoyed by everyone who does business on our continent,” Mr. Kagame said.
President Kagame added that the continent wishes to be a part of the multibillion-dollar China’s Belt and Road Initiative — infrastructure and investment projects. The initiative aims at enhancing China’s global dominance.
In July this year, President Xi Jinping of China visited Rwanda, where fifteen bilateral agreements were signed between the Republic of Rwanda and The People’s Republic of China. Among the agreements signed was a bankable deal to finance construction of a $54 million 14km Highway that will connect Kigali to Bugesera International Airport.
The agreements also covered a range of other sectors including an agreement on mutual visa exemption for diplomatic and service passport holders, as well as those related to infrastructure development, e-Commerce, Civil Air transport, culture and scientific cooperation, human capacity development among others.
During this year’s China-Africa cooperation forum, President Xi highlighted the country’s action plan on promoting closer cooperation with African countries in the fields of industry, investment, trade, infrastructure, health, culture, environmental protection and security.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on China – Africa cooperation alongside other leaders, Kagame thanked China for backing Rwanda’s development agenda.
“On this note I wish to thank the People’s Republic of China and you President Xi Jinping, for the continued support my country has received in its development efforts,” he said.
The commitments made also include; establishing the China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo in China, supporting the goal of basically achieving food security before 2030 as proposed by African countries, and provision of 1 billion yuan ($146.3 million) in emergency humanitarian aid to disaster-affected African countries.
China will also implement 50 projects on trade facilitation with African countries and establish 50 aid projects on green development and environmental protection.