As the African Development Bank Group prepares to convene in
Shanghai this week, a top bank official said China should invest
more in Africa.
The group's 2007 annual meetings will open Wednesday in Shanghai
and are expected to solidify links between the two sides, bank
president Donald Kaberuka said.
Kaberuka said he expects China's investments in Africa to
surpass US$2 billion this year. At the end of 2006, Chinese
investments in Africa reached US$11.7 billion and were focused on
manufacturing, trade, transportation and agriculture.
"Trade links between China and Africa surged five times during
the past six years," Kaberuka said. "We are keen to see our bank
work as a communication link between the two sides and play a
bigger role in promoting the bilateral relations."
China's official statistics show that trade between China and
Africa developed fast in recent years. Trade volume exceeded US$10
billion in 2000 and climbed to US$55.5 billion last year.
"Economic growth has picked up in the past six years in Africa,
and we welcome all partners of Africa to come to invest and seek
opportunities in the continent," Kaberuka said. "We want to move
this partnership not only to the traditional energy and
telecommunications sectors but also to other aspects."
China is one of 24 Non-Regional Members of the bank. The 42nd
Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development
Bank and the 33rd Meeting of the Board of the African Development
Fund come after the Beijing Summit of the China-Africa Cooperation
Forum in November 2006.
Kaberuka said the bank selected Shanghai to host the meetings
partly because China is a fast growing market and that Africa is
keen to learn from China.
Moreover, the two sides could work together in a number of
issues, such as poverty eradication, environmental protection and
pursuit of a sustainable development, he said. "We look forward to
subjects of common interests to be discussed," Kaberuka said.
The annual meetings mark the most important gathering of the
African continent's senior finance and development policymakers and
experts. Each year, the events bring together private and public
sector managers, as well as finance ministers of the Bank Group's
77 member countries.
Preparations for this year's meetings have been underway since
last year. An African Development Bank Group delegation, led by the
institution's secretary-general, visited China earlier to examine
conference facilities, accommodation and transport arrangements, IT
and communications infrastructure, media coverage needs, as well as
protocol, health and security issues.
"We are happy with the arrangement," Kaberuka said.
(China Daily May 14, 2007)