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Interview: Africa, China committed to realize shared vision: top AU official
2015-05-26

Africa and China have committed themselves towards building "a community of common destiny," in particular realizing a shared vision of common development, said a top African Union (AU) official.

Speaking to Xinhua in an exclusive interview ahead of his visit to China on Sunday, Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairperson of the AU Commission, said Africa and China are working together in developing infrastructure and industrialization, as well as poverty eradication.

Mwencha reiterated that infrastructure and industrialization are among the core programs of the AU Agenda 2063, a blueprint for Africa's long-term development, on which China and Africa have committed themselves.

"If we embark on areas like industrialization, this will be transformational because Africa is a young continent with a lot of human resource; Africa has resource endowment in the form of minerals and human resource," he said.

China is now in a transition to high-tech and high-cost industries, a process from which Africa could also benefit in terms of increasing employment and boosting manufacturing activities, he said.

He said Africa and China are also working on the reform of the global economic architecture, as well as in the field of peace and security.

"We have new challenges like terrorism, radicalization, and we stand together to fight all these in making a just but also fair world," said Mwencha.

China has supported in the past Africa's quest for independence and the overall China-Africa cooperation is growing from strength to strength, Mwencha said.

"Africa is now emphasizing a point that we need to create jobs and China is willing to partner with Africa," he said. "This is an exemplary type of partnership that really goes to the needs of the continent."

Mwencha also hailed China's continued support to Africa in various areas, including health as well as peace and security.

Mwencha, who will lead an AU delegation for a working visit to China starting from Sunday, said the AU team will discuss with Chinese officials over a high-speed rail project that will connect African countries, enhance integration and promote economic development in Africa.

"The trip itself will be part of the mutual exchange that has been taking place between China and Africa. We have a structured dialogue which takes place under FOCAC (Forum for China-Africa Cooperation). But, beyond that we have also been having high-level visits," he said.

Mwencha expressed belief that this upcoming visit by the AU delegation to China will build on the ever growing relationship between the two sides.

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