Malawi President Peter Mutharika has said his government remains focused and committed to all development pacts and arrangements it has with China as it is the best way of improving local livelihoods through development of infrastructure and strengthening of institutions.
Mutharika reiterated this focus during proceedings at the Forum For Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit in Johannesburg on Saturday.
“The China-Africa relationship has greatly benefited Malawi in particular and Africa in general,” said President Mutharika.
He pointed out that since the inception of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation about 15 years ago, and the holding of Beijing FOCAC Summit in 2006, there has been significant and tremendous progress.
“Most of the activities enshrined under this platform for consultation and dialogue, are on track. As a nation, we are proud to note that the FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2013-2015) is on course,”Mutharika said.
In addition, the Malawi leader promised that Malawi intends to contribute earnestly to the progress of the corporation saying, “we are also looking forward to gaining more from the corporation. Above all, we look forward to learning great lessons from China and how you made yourselves a great nation. I believe any African country can do what China has done”
He called upon fellow African leaders to take charge even in the presence of Chinese help as the destiny of Africa is better defined by localised priorities.
“This China-Africa partnership needs to walk in that path of localisation of international goals and indigenization of policies. One of the saddest tragedies in most Africans is that we lost faith in ourselves, and stopped believing in ourselves, that we own the capacity to change our situation.
“Africa needs partnerships that inspire this inner capacity and dignify our longing for self-dependence,” he said quoting Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe who advised African leaders saying “There are things one must do for oneself.”
He pointed out how crucial Chinese cooperation is in line with post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) development blueprints such as the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
China has since announced a package of new measures for cooperation with Africa in five key areas. These covered investment and financial cooperation, the African integration agenda, people-to-people relations, peace and security and development assistance.
The eastern giant – which has so far injected some $220 billion into Africa – committed extra funds amounting $60 billion for infrastructure projects on the continent.
On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced $60bn (£40bn) of assistance and loans for African states.
He said the momentum of rapid growth in Africa was “unstoppable”.
He also proposed that China-Africa ties be upgraded to “a comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership”.
Speaking on Saturday, Chinese President said China firmly supported Africa’s pursuit of independent sustainable development.
Since Malawi shifted relations from Taiwan to China it has benefited in colossal infrastructure projects that include the Parliament building, a five star hotel, conference centre, presidential villas, a national stadium all in Lilongwe.
Other projects are the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) in Thyolo. The second phase of Chinese projects is worth close to US $1 billion and has projects in energy, tourism, agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
The Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (Focac) was the second time China has brought together African leaders since the forum was launched in Beijing in 2000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :