AU official hails China's role in Africa's infrastructure, energy development

ADDIS ABABA,Jan.30(Xinhua) -- African countries will actively engage with China as they embark on the next phase of infrastructure modernization alongside development of clean energy, a senior AU official said.

Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, the AU Commissioner for infrastructure and energy said at a press briefing that China will play a significant role in the development of mega infrastructure and energy projects across Africa.

"It is clear China is playing a major role in the development of modern infrastructure in Africa. The Chinese firms have been implementing infrastructure projects efficiently and on time, "Mahmood Ibrahim remarked at a press briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing AU summit in Addis Ababa.

The AU agenda 2063 roots for investments in modern infrastructure including roads, railway, seaports, ICT and airports to hasten intra-African trade, integration and industrial growth.

Mahmood Ibrahim revealed that implementation of mega infrastructure projects identified in the Agenda 2063 is on course.

"We have secured funding to fast-track implementation of flagship projects like inter-state highways, fiber optic cables, ports and railway lines. Modern infrastructure is key to the realization of long-term development," said the commissioner.

She disclosed that regional transport corridors under implementation in east, central and western African region will be completed in the next three years.

The African Union and other continental bodies have been holding discussions with the Chinese government to strengthen cooperation in the area of infrastructure and energy development.

Mahmood Ibrahim said that China is well placed to lend technical and financial support to help African countries upgrade their transport infrastructure.

"We look forward to fruitful cooperation with China in infrastructure and renewable energy development in line with pledges made at the FOCAC summit," Mahmood Ibrahim remarked.

She added that African countries look up to China for technical and financial assistance as they embark on large scale investment in green energy.

"China has massive expertise in renewable energy. It is a leading manufacturer of solar equipment and it could play a vital role in helping us realize the green agenda," Mahmood Ibrahim told Xinhua.

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