Zambian experts laud new approach to Africa-China cooperation
LUSAKA, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Zambian experts on Tuesday welcomed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's call for an upgraded version of the Asian nation's cooperation with Africa.
Speaking at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital on Monday, Li proposed that China and Africa join hands to bring forth an upgraded version of their all-round cooperation.
The Chinese premier, visiting Africa for the first time since taking office in March last year, listed four principles, outlined six areas and highlighted one platform for the Asian giant and the promising continent to realize the upgrading.
"For a long time now, our relation with developed countries has been on the platform of providing raw materials and receiving finished products," said Dr Fred Mutesa, a development expert and former lecturer at the School of Development Studies in the University of Zambia, in an interview with Xinhua.
"This has made us vulnerable to changes in commodity prices on the international market," he said.
"With this new cooperation being proposed, it gives us an opportunity to ensure that our cooperation is indeed on a mutual basis by ensuring that we not only become a supplier of raw materials but also ensure that China helps us add value to our materials," he added.
Africa should embrace the proposed cooperation by coming up with a working plan that will leverage the new opportunities, he said.
James Chola, a communications and development expert from Cavendish University also welcomed the premier's proposal, saying the Asian nation perceives Africa as an equal partner.
"Chinese firms should partner with local firms in order to help Africa industrialize. China should help Africa in ensuring that there is innovation in industries," Chola said.
The expert further commended China for improving infrastructure development in Africa, adding that this makes the Asian nation different from the approach of Western countries.