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UNDP official sees Belt and Road Initiative boosting Renewable Energy development in Africa

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Belt and Road

Program Manager for the United Nations Development Program ( UNDP) in , China Zhang Weidong has expressed high hopes of African countries benefiting immensely in boosting their Renewable Energy capacities through the China government’s Belt and Road initiative.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Xinhua here on Wednesday during his working visit to Ghana, Zhang said the initiative will assist countries along the Belt and Road initiative to develop the infrastructure for electricity and manage the transition from fossil fuel to Renewable Energy (RE).

“This Belt and Road initiative is for the global wellbeing. Not for China alone, and there is no political condition. It is meant for development for the Developing world; for better life; create jobs, health facilities , infrastructure; Energy and so on, and particularly create new energy where China is leading the world. You know wind, solar, biomass; China is the leading in the world,” the Programs Manager indicated.

Zhang was in Ghana to participate in a workshop organized by the UNDP in collaboration with Ghana’s Energy Commission to introduce top Chinese Renewable Energy institutions to public and private sector players in Ghana’s energy industry.

He lauded the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, for initiating the Belt and Road idea with the mindset of creating a Commonwealth of mankind.

“It is really for the global wellbeing, not just for China. President Xi Jinping has mentioned that the Belt and Road initiative is really to get people connected –People-to-people; infrastructure, energy, finance, communication,” the UNDP official noted.

For countries with difficulties in raising financing for these initiatives, Zhang explained that the Belt and Roads initiative has set up a fund, called the Silk Road Fund and also South-South Aid Fund meant to support initial start-up of some of the projects.

For prioritization of projects to benefit from the China government initiative, he urged African countries to focus on the three broad themes under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which include Poverty alleviation, Transitional changes and also Resilience.

He explained that UNDP’s role in the implementation of these development initiatives stem from its nearly 40 years of relationship with the Chinese government.

“We have almost 40 years existence in China, and we are privileged to be assisting the government of China in doing its opening up and its development. Therefore UNDP is in the best position to work with the government of China to exchange China’s experience and expertise with other developing countries so they can achieve similar development in relatively short time,” he explained. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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