Sep 01, 2012 at 12:21pm
African countries urged to improve technology
Former President John Agyekum Kufour
A two-day forum designed to explore trade and investment opportunities in Africa and China opened in Accra yesterday with a call by former President John Agyekum Kufour on African countries to focus more on technological development.
Addressing the opening session of the forum, former President Kufuor said unless Africa developed technologically, its capacity to negotiate fairly with its partners would be limited.
The forum was organized by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) on the theme: ‘’Exploring Trade and Investment Opportunities: How Africa Can Benefit from China’s Experience’’.
Dubbed Chengwei Capital ‘China Meets Africa’ Forum in Accra, the event provided the platform for thought-provoking exchanges between business and political leaders, eminent academics, students, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and multilateral and bilateral institutions to discuss the economic partnership between China and Africa.
Mr Kufuor said in view of the challenges of globalization, it was important that African countries forged closer cooperation and stand united in their quest to achieve excellence in their development endeavors.
He said unity was a factor in Africa’s efforts to strengthen partnership with China.
He thanked China for investing and providing funds for Africa’s growth and development and called on the participants to take advantage of the forum to effectively discuss the future relationship between China and Africa.
Speaking on the contribution of China to the economic development of Africa, the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E Gong Jianzhong, said the Chinese government had fulfilled its bid of providing US$15 billion preferential loans to Africa.
Additionally, he said China had encouraged its financial institutions to increase commercial loans to African countries.
By the end of June, this year, he said, China had invested US$45 billion in Africa, including over US$15 billion as Foreign District Investment (FDI).
Furthermore, more than 2,000 Chinese companies, he said were operating in 50 African countries with more than 85 per cent of their employees being Africans.
That, he said, was evidence of China-Africa trade and economic cooperation designed to drive Africa’s industrial growth.
Ambassador Jianzhong affirmed China’s commitment to increase assistance to Africa and also bring the benefits of development to the African countries.
"China will build more agricultural technology demonstration centres as necessary to help African countries to improve food production, processing, storage and distribution,’’ he said.
SOURCE: Daily Graphic