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EAC calls for closer cooperation with China

EAC calls for closer cooperation with China

THE East African Community (EAC) welcomes investors from China to implement various projects in the region with a population of about 300 million, said DrPeter Mathuki, EAC secretary general, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"We welcome investors from China to come and work with us in East Africa so that we can now develop this part of Africa for the good and prosperity of people but also for the prosperity of China," said DrMathuki, adding that China and East Africa have a lot to work together to make sure their economies prosper from the cooperation.

China is one of the most progressive countries that have tried to partner East African countries in many sectors, and largely supports infrastructure programs in East African countries by grants, financing mechanisms or technical assistance, he said.

"The Belt and Road Initiative aims to ensure that as you develop infrastructure you also increase trade and secure trade routes in a more advanced way, and make countries very interdependent," said DrMathuki, adding that the initiative is not only improving infrastructure in East Africa but also increasing trade volume.

DrMathuki has also pledged full support for the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by China at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly last year, saying the GDI will foster global economic partnerships.

"The proposal is very important because it addresses poverty alleviation, food security and Covid-19 response, the issues that touch the hearts of the people of East Africa," he told Xinhua.

"We are willing to work with China, and we encourage more countries and international partners to take advantage by joining this Global Development Initiative," said DrMathuki.

On the Chinese government's move to set up a special envoy for the Horn of Africa affairs, DrMathuki said they welcome the proposal because where there is peace then there is promise of development and that once the Horn of Africa remains peaceful it potentially becomes an economic hub for the continent.

DrMathuki also urged Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa to prepare for and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that will create a market of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of about 3.4 trillion US dollars.

"In terms of the economies, East Africa stands very strong and the EAC is going to play a very big role in strengthening the AfCFTA," he said.

East African countries should approach AfCFTA as a team, urging investors from China to invest in Africa and capture the huge AfCFTA market, said DrMathuki.

The EAC groups Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. 

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Author: By a Correspondent

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