By CCTV correspondent Carol Oyola
China’s role in Africa’s development has been one of the key themes at the World Economic Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa. Before the three-day forum concluded Friday, African leaders hailed Chinese investments in the continent. Meanwhile, they called for a greater exchange of ideas moving forward.
China has long had strong relations with most African countries. And developing these relations further was a point of focus at this year’s World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa. Both Africa and China were interested in sharing their experiences in development.
"Africa is coming from poverty and debt. We want to work together with China. We believe in China, but China needs to believe in us as well," said Lourdes Fernandes, Legal Counsel Firm, Angola.
Many African leaders were of the opinion that China should not only invest in Africa but promote local development as well in the continent. "I think it’s important that the Chinese investment, which we highly appreciate, should come with use of local skills and with the investment of the promotion of local skills," said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, former S. African Deputy President.
"We hope that the next forum is going to focus on technology cooperation between Africa and China because that’s where Africans are now moving towards...being focused on how they can start to add value to their natural resources and that’s very interesting opportunities between Chinese and African businesses to work together to develop resources," said Calestous Juma, Professor of Kennedy School of Gov’t, Harvard Univ.
China was also in agreement, saying that it needs to pay more attention to the needs and demands of the African people. "I think we should listen more to the views of African people. Because the first thing you have to do is understand them. Otherwise, it will be difficult to address their problems," said Zhong Jianhua, Chinese Special Rep. for African Affairs
China’s investments have drawn more attention to Africa and the world is raising prospects from developing countries to also invest in the continent.