World Insights: China-Africa cooperation sheds light on inclusive development

Photo taken on Sept. 30, 2019, shows a train at the Negrao station of the Benguela Railway near Lobito, Angola. [Photo by Liu Zhi/Xinhua]

The local government also hopes the road would unlock the tourism potential of the area as better road conditions will attract more tourists.

In the bustling Viana City of Luanda Province in Angola in southern Africa, the 1,344-km-long Benguela Railway, built by the China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR20), functioned as a "lifeline" during the COVID-19 pandemic by carrying much-needed supplies to the country's inland areas.

Multiple certificates of honour, conferred by the Angolan government to recognize the company's work and contribution, were displayed on a wall at a showroom in the headquarters of the CR20 Angola International Company.

Zhu Qihui, chairman of the board of the group's subsidiary in Angola, said that through the Belt and Road cooperation, Chinese enterprises have brought technology, experience, and standards to Africa while local employees acquired jobs, skill training and higher income.

By the end of 2021, 52 African countries, together with the African Union Commission, have signed cooperation documents on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with China.

Ronie Bertrand Nguenkwe, an economist and researcher at the University of Yaounde II in Cameroon, said the contributions made by the BRI have proven that the initiative is based on cooperation, mutual benefits and common interests.

Photo taken on Nov. 4, 2021 shows the bags of maize donated to Zambia by the Chinese government in Lusaka, Zambia's capital. [Photo by Martin Mbangweta/Xinhua]

Fighting poverty

Over the past decade, China has succeeded in eradicating absolute poverty in the country. A model and a pioneer in alleviating poverty, the country also actively advocates for and participates in the global campaign for poverty reduction.

The World Bank projected that the Belt and Road cooperation will lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people out of moderate poverty around the world by 2030.

To share experiences and promote international cooperation against poverty, China has put forth the Global Development Initiative and endeavoured to establish international networks and alliances.

Through a China-aided project last month, villagers in the rural areas of Zambia's Lusaka Province were equipped with the knowledge and small-scale technologies to improve their productivity in the chicken-rearing business.

Simushi Liswaniso, the project coordinator, said the China-funded program, namely the Demonstration Village for China-Africa Agricultural Development and Poverty Reduction, which runs from this year to 2025, will enhance the friendship between the two countries.

Early this month, the Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina) donated over 500 sets of solar lighting systems to the Lauteye village in the Bunkure local government area of Kano state, northern Nigeria.

Expressing his gratitude for the kind gift, Shuaib Ibrahim, a 48-year-old villager, said his home did not have "any form of power" before the donation.

The solar-powered systems provide more than 300 families in the village with a cleaner and more sustainable source of energy, ending its history of using charcoal fires or kerosene lamps for lighting.

Costantinos Bt. Costantinos, a professor of public policy at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, said China's development has inspired the world; in particular, it galvanized the developing world toward socioeconomic progress and inclusive development.

Ghali said that China's successful fight against poverty has created a pathway to be followed by developing nations seeking to lift its large population out of the shackles of poverty within a stipulated time, adding that China's success in the anti-poverty fight has shown that poverty is not unsolvable.