BRI is driving Africa toward industrialization – Kofi Adams

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This photo taken on Jan. 11, 2023 shows the headquarters building of the China-aided Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Xinhua/Dong Jianghui)
This photo taken on Jan. 11, 2023 shows the headquarters building of the China-aided Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Xinhua/Dong Jianghui)

A Ghanaian lawmaker has said that for many African countries, their industrialization agenda would not have taken off without the support of China.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) proposed by China has gradually propelled Africa toward industrialization, a Ghanaian lawmaker has said.

Kofi Adams, a member of parliament (MP) in the Oti Region of Ghana, told Xinhua in a recent interview that African countries should embrace the assistance to reap the benefits of the BRI.

Adams visited China in August to participate in a training program organized by China’s Ministry of Commerce, during which his perception of the BRI was further deepened.

He said China initiated the BRI to support trading and economic development.

 Photo taken on March 30, 2023 shows the National Theater of Ghana in Accra, Ghana. The National Theater of Ghana, a landmark architecture funded by China in the 1990s, has been an enduring monument of the friendship between China and Ghana, said a theater official. (Photo by Seth/Xinhua)
Photo taken on March 30, 2023 shows the National Theater of Ghana in Accra, Ghana. The National Theater of Ghana, a landmark architecture funded by China in the 1990s, has been an enduring monument of the friendship between China and Ghana, said a theater official. (Photo by Seth/Xinhua)

“Despite all other means of transport available to them, including aviation, ocean travel and rails, China thought it necessary to initiate the BRI to reach out and make movement and trade easier for everybody around the world,” the Ghanaian lawmaker said.

Through the BRI, he said African countries have started developing critical infrastructure, such as railways, harbors and airports, to help Africa industrialize, develop infrastructure and trade networks, and invest in human capital as China did, which would lead to the attainment of Africa’s Agenda 2063 to transform the continent into a major player in the global economy.

Another area Adams touched on is energy, where China is investing in power generation to support industrialization.

He cited the example of Ghana, where China has invested in the Bui hydropower dam, the second-largest hydro dam in the country, and some solar energy projects.

“Today, we have a level of stability in energy because of Chinese investment. And we all know what energy does to industrialization. And how many countries may be willing to give us that much to invest into such projects as China has done?” he said.

 Ghanaians pass by the Bui dam, Ghana, on May 3, 2013. (Xinhua/Shao Haijun)
Ghanaians pass by the Bui dam, Ghana, on May 3, 2013. (Xinhua/Shao Haijun)

For many African countries, the MP said their industrialization agenda would not have taken off without the support of China.

Adams noted that China is investing not just in Ghana. “In Ethiopia, you will find their presence in rail development, aviation and ports. Also, in Kenya, Angola and many other African countries, you will find the presence of Chinese in activities that have keenly supported the industrialization drive,” he said.

The MP opined that Chinese investment in Africa would yield higher development and industrialization results if the continent directed some resources into integrating trade within the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Through integration, he believed Africa would create a bigger economy, with larger GDP and more opportunities for investment and trade.

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