E. Africa expects to reinforce partnership with China

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The East African Community (EAC) is looking forward to reinforce trade, investment and various relations with China, which is seen as a more serious economic partner with the total acceptance of market, EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu said in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the 11th annual East African Power Industry Convention, Mwapachu said that the region is ready to work with China for development as the international financial crisis developed negative effects to the world economy.

"Market is the key driver of development," the secretary general noted, hailing China's reform and opening policy constructed by then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and adopted in 1978 in China.

"Most of China's investments in the region focus on mineral resources, like copper, as well as infrastructure including roads. China has rich experience in developing energy sectors and east Africa has the potential for investment to develop energy," said the Mwapachu, who was former Tanzanian Ambassador to France and with a wide-ranging career in the public and private sectors in the east African country.

The 64-year-old experienced diplomat noted that gas reserves was detected in Rwanda and the region expects cooperation with China in the sectors of developing geothermal, wind and solar power.

He also expressed hope to make better use of the China-Africa Fund through the energetic regional body of EAC.

The secretary general further sent his warmest congratulation on the upcoming 60th founding anniversary of China on Oct. 1st this year.

On the integration process of the East Africa, Mwapachu noted that everything goes smoothly as the EAC is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the heads of states of its five members, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, are expected to sign the EAC Common Market Protocol in November this year.

Under the theme "Pooling Resources for African Development", the three-day 11th annual East African Power Industry Convention, which began on Tuesday with pre-conference round table sessions, attracted more than 280 delegates from nearly 20 countries to address pertinent issues on infrastructural requirements to support national development programs.

(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2009)

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