By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Nigerian Consul General in Shanghai, China, Chimezie Okeoma, has described Africa as a reliable friend and partner to China.
Speaking at the Jiangsu-Africa Cooperation Conference and China-Africa Local Government Cooperation Forum, he said that both Africa and China have benefitted from the symbiotic relationship.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, the envoy charged Chinese businessmen to invest more in the continent, pointing out that it will be a win-win.
He said that the theme of the conference: ‘Unity and Cooperation’, sought common development and work together to build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future is very timely and needs attention of both sides.
“Africa is a reliable friend and partner of China. A continent with over 700 million people is next to India as major trading partner.
“The Government and the People of China have done very well within the platform of FOCAC. The cooperation between both sides have witnessed tremendous cooperation, building of unity and understanding between both sides.
“Africa as a continent has benefited a lot within mechanism of FOCAC and lots of goodwill in the area of infrastructure development from the Chinese side.
“Africa appreciates China, however, there are gaps that need to be closed by both sides, as I especially invite the Government of Jiangsu Province and businessmen to increase their presence by investing more in African continent,” he said.
He said that both sides need to develop a strong bond and also a network of honest and sincere communication in our bilateral engagements both in the public and private sectors to achieve our common goals.
He stressed that China needs to carry Africa as an abiding trusted allay in all its bilateral and multilateral engagements.
“In as much as Africa needs China in its quest for development, China also needs Africa’s support in the area of global politics with the United Nations.
“Very importantly, China needs to unite with Africa and carry her in its multi-lateral aspirations in world polities.
“It can only realizse this by assuring Africa of its sincerity to assist the continent by providing the best of modern infrastructure needs and demands of our people,” he said. (NAN)