Chinese Foreign Minister to Visit Africa
by PD Lawton 6 January 2021
Wang Yi, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, is on a tour of 5 African countries. He started his visit on Monday by going to Nigeria. Nigeria, under the government of President Buhari, has a particularly positive relationship with China and is one of the foremost African countries in the Belt and Road Initiative. President Buhari`s government is transforming the physical economy. The Nigerian Railway Modernization Plan is being implemented very successfully. One of the many great points about the Railway Plan is that it will continue north from Kano and across the border to Maradin in Niger from where the Nigerien government will extend it to Maradi.
It was President Buhari who championed the extension of the line from Kano, amid much criticism. It demonstrates the new way of thinking among African leadership which is the ethos of the Belt and Road Initiative, to have a `win-win` partnership with your neighbours and to unite along economic corridors.
Minister Wang Yi will also visit the DRC, Botswana, Tanzania and the island nation of the Seychelles.
It is particularly good news that he will be visiting the DRC which has yet to have any significant presence in the Belt and Road Initiative. The DRC`s infrastructure deficit is a catastrophic obstacle to development and industrialization of the whole continent. Perhaps following the recent political changes that President Tshisekedi has made, the situation can begin to change.
Perhaps on the agenda of talks between the Chinese and Congolese, will be the Transaqua Plan for the Replenishment of Lake Chad. President Buhari has been a valiant champion of Transaqua together with China and Italy. Transaqua would be the largest infrastructure project in the world with the capacity to produce hydroelectricity in abundance and to transform the economies of the 12 riparian states.
As of present, the DRC has been negative as regards Transaqua. The general public believe in the propaganda that Transaqua is `water theft` despite the fact that the proposed source of water currently flows into the sea. The government currently look more favourably on taking a `green`approach and preserving Congo`s biodiversity and peatlands for carbon sinks.
When you realize the DRC is twice the size of Western Europe, it shows the environmental concerns to be as ludicrous and absurd as they are. The population of Africa`s second largest country is only 90 million, tens of thousands of whom are forced to live in exile due to the extreme lack of development which is the second lowest in the world, after war-torn Yemen.