The Economics Association of Zambia, an association representing economists, says it is gratifying that China has so far not interfered in African countries’ internal affairs as well as not imposed its will on African countries.
Commenting on the outcome of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) where China reaffirmed its ‘five-no’ approach in its engagement with Africa, the analysts observed that since time immemorial, China’s relations with Africa was never dictated by what was obtaining in the world.
The “five-no” approach involves no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs; no imposition of China’s will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa.
Lubinda Haabazoka, the association’s president, said unlike other countries, China does not attach any political strings to its support to Africa. For instance, China has never been known to make any comments to influence election outcome in Africa.
“And for that we say thank you for this type of relationship,” he told Xinhua in an interview.
About the shared future for mankind which came out of the FOCAC summit, the analyst says countries should develop relations of mutual respect and relationships that seek not to undermine other partners.
China, he added, should also be commended for coming up with the eight initiatives in its engagement with Africa for the coming years, adding that this shows the Asian nation sees Africa as its major partner and would want to take the relation to another level.
“China also wants to ensure that Africa does not lag behind in terms of standards in the area of green technologies hence the green initiative. It also recognizes the importance of health…China is not only perfecting its health systems but also ensuring the health care systems of its partners in Africa are enhanced so that there is that consistency and ability to do trade,” he said.
Rose Fumpa-Makano, an international policy analyst and lecturer at the Dag Hammanskjold Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at the Copperbelt University, says Zambia needs to clearly indicate how it will interact with China in order to get maximum benefits.
While commending the relations between the two countries which saw the establishment of various infrastructure in Zambia such as the Tanzania-Zambia Railway line, the analyst says the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Zambia will go a long way in enhancing people-to-people exchanges.
“We should embrace intercultural exchange programs. It therefore would be a good idea to embrace the Chinese language just as well as we have embraced the English language so as to fully utilize opportunities that would demand one to have a good command of the Chinese language,” she said.
She has since implored Zambia and other African countries to emulate the Chinese development model which she says helped to make China the economic powerhouse it is today.
The said model involves having foreign countries set up manufacturing industries so that there is technology transfer which benefits both the investor and the local community.
“We need to invite China to set up manufacturing industries in Zambia so that there is technology transfer leading to a reduction in unemployment levels. We already have the main things in place to allow China to set up manufacturing industries so that we can tap into their technology.” she added.