As Africa looks forward to continental integration, the Chinese government announced plans to roll out major joint ventures which will enable the continent to achieve its integration agenda.

Last year, the Chinese government announced that it will roll out 10 co-operation plans which would strengthen co-operation with Africa within the next three years.

The programmes cover the areas of agriculture modernization, infrastructure, industrialization, financial services, trade and investment facilitation, green development, peace and security, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health and people-to-people exchanges.

China will also offer 60 billion US dollars to ensure the smooth implementation of the co-operation initiatives.

Speaking to Xinhua here Tuesday, Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s minister of finance and economic planning, said China’s major economic co-operation arrangements with Africa would play a crucial role towards boosting economic integration on the continent.

“These economic initiatives and other efforts toward Africa regional integration hold the promise of boosting intra-regional trade and improving investment prospects in the continent, as well as African competitiveness,” he said.

Africa trade integration has long been a strategic objective for Africa policy makers and economists, despite the continent’s market remains highly fragmented.

On June 10, 2015 in Cairo, the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) was officially launched which seeks to boost economic growth in Africa. TFTA brings together three of Africa’s major regional economic communities — the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

According to Dr. Martyn Davies, the managing director for emerging markets and Africa at Deloitte Frontier Advisory South Africa, the development strategies of China towards African economic integration represent a pivotal force for promoting common development.

“With Africa having reached a point where industrialization plans are ready to take off, China’s 10 major plans will help Africa realize inclusive, sustainable development that defines the structural transformation of the continent,” he said.

“Barriers to trade continue to limit the growth of trade throughout all African regional groupings. China-Africa programs will create opportunities, new jobs, and brighter futures for Africans.”

Since 2000, China has been extending its assistance and conducting cooperation activities with African countries through the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) framework.

The FOCAC, a collective consultation and dialogue mechanism between China and African countries, has, since its launch, seen billions of dollars from Chinese government channeled to Africa countries for economic development.

Source: Nam News Network