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BRICS: Africa Pushes China For Industrialisation Over Building Infrastructure In Summit

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As the BRICS summit is ongoing, African nations emphasized that China shift from building infrastructure on the continent to local industrialisation, said China’s highest diplomat in Africa on Tuesday.

Director-general of China’s department of African affairs at its foreign ministry, Wu Peng, said, “African integration is already escalating and many African countries (have) asked China to consider (a) shift (of) our focus.”

The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which was introduced at the beginning of 2021 and is meant to allow African countries to trade duty-free in the future, Wu said, made the shift all the more necessary.

On Thursday, China will discuss its intentions for the industrialization of Africa with African leaders during a special roundtable of the summit that is going on from August 22-24.

According to Boston University, Chinese lenders, largely state-owned banks, promised to finance $160 billion to African nations between 2000 and 2020.

Loan pledges increased following Xi’s “Belt and Road Initiative” debut in 2013 to build infrastructure in underdeveloped nations, but they subsequently fell precipitously from a peak of $28.4 billion in 2016 to just $1.6 billion in 2017.

Additionally, he added that there will be an increase in Chinese investments in Africa, particularly from small and medium-sized businesses. “No matter what happens about the global economy, or Chinese economy, the trend in the relatively midterm or long range, (is that) Chinese companies are willing to take some risk (to) go into Africa,” Wu added.

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