Africa should have strategy for China – Prof. Ncube

Prof. Mthuli Ncube - AfDB Chief Economist
Prof. Mthuli Ncube – AfDB Chief Economist

An economist is advocating for Africa to have a well-cut strategy for China as the Asian country’s dominance on the continent keeps rising.

According to Professor Mthuli Ncube, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Africa should start using China as a ladder to play a major role in the global economy.

“I think Africa should have a strategy for China,” Prof Ncube said April 26, 2013 during a media interaction in Tunis.

According to Prof Ncube, China has a strategy for Africa but the continent has no strategy for China.

The AfDB Chief Economist says the continent’s strategy should be that, Africa should see China as a ladder on which it can climb in terms of the global value chain.

“We should see Africa’s manufacturing sector beginning to make different parts for various final goods which are produced in China,” he said, adding that, “Africa should become the factory to the world just like China became one in the last 15-20 years ago.”

“I think that is how Africa should begin to see itself in terms of climbing the ladder on the back of China,” he stated.

Prof. Ncube however advised African countries to diversify their economies so that growth will be inclusive.

China’s influence has driven Africa’s economy to expand further. For instance trade between China and Africa reached about $200 billion in 2012 and the Asian powerhouse plans to provide Africa a $20 billion line of credit, its President Xi Jinping announced when he visited Tanzania March 25, 2013.

The credit will be supplied starting this year 2013 to 2015, the state-owned China Daily reported.

Citing President Xi, the China Daily said Beijing will also expand cooperation with Africa in investment, financing, transnational and trans-regional infrastructure development.

According to the Chinese leader, his country will train 30,000 African professionals and provide 18,000 government scholarships to African students from 2013 to 2015, and increase technology transfer and experience sharing with Africa.

China made $15b direct investment in Africa in the year 2011, according to a Ghana News Agency report citing a statement issued early November 2012 by Mr Shao Haijun, Bureau Chief of Xinhua News Agency Accra Bureau.

Ghana, one of Africa’s economic rising star, has secured a $3 billion loan from China to expand its infrastructure.

By Ekow Quandzie, back from Tunis, Tunisia

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