China Helps Africa To Erase Colonial Past, Experts Say

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China Helps Africa To Erase Colonial Past, Experts Say
China Helps Africa To Erase Colonial Past, Experts Say

Africa-Press – Liberia. African leaders are happy to cooperate with China: Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan visited the East Asian country in her first foreign trip as head of state and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa welcomed “strategic and comprehensive partnership” and “fraternal relations” between his country and China.

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa hailed “excellent” relations with China, calling for the “urgent” and “unconditional” lifting of western sanctions. The statements were made during his first address to the nation at the new parliament building which had been donated by China.

Zimbabwe has been under sanctions imposed by the US and the EU since 2003, which accused the African country of human rights abuses and election fraud. The sanctions list about 140 legal entities and individuals. The EU anti-Zimbabwe sanctions incorporate an arms embargo and an entry ban for a number of high-ranking officials.

Chinese policies in Africa are at odds with those of western countries, Tatyana Deich, a lead research fellow at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute for African Studies, says. She notes that in Mnangagwa’s speech, sanctions that prevent the country’s economic development are the opposite of what has been done by China, which is “unmatched by any other country in the field of aid and investment, building infrastructure in Africa”.

China invested $200Mln in the construction of the six-story parliament building in Harare which replaces the old parliament which was built when the country was a British colony.

According to Deich, the parliament building project signifies the increasing influence of China and the fact that with its help, “Zimbabwe was able to close another page of its colonial past”.

Over the past 50 years, China has built 24 residences for African heads of state. However, developmnet of public facilities is merely a fraction of Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa. Liu Qinghai, director of the Center for African Economic Studies at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University, highlights in how many ways China has supported the African continent.

Over the past three years, Chinese investment in Zimbabwe has amounted to $2Bln, making China the main investor in the southern African country. Chinese companies have also created about 100,000 jobs. Zimbabwe has large deposits of lithium, and Chinese companies are actively investing in the exploration, mining and processing of this valuable rare earth. China is also supporting Zimbabwe’s energy security efforts by helping to build and operate a number of hydro-power facilities.

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