Africa needs development partner like China: Senegalese President

“Africa needs a development partner like China,” said Senegalese President Macky Sall on Thursday, stressing that Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Senegal is a historic trip eagerly expected by all the Senegalese.

“China has helped improve Africa’s infrastructure through engineering projects of railways, highways, bridges and energy, especially clean energy,” Sall explained, adding that Africa needs to better cope with the short boards like infrastructure construction.

Sall told the Chinese media that he and his country are very honored to welcome Xi on his visit.

“President Xi and I have had conversations in China and on multiple international occasions. We have established profound friendship and agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership,” the Senegalese President noted.

He added that both sides are now devoted to a closer cooperation under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

During Xi's visit, the governments of the two countries will sign a series of agreements on bilateral cooperation, disclosed Sall.

“We will see China’s role in the implementation of the Plan for an Emerging Senegal. I believe Xi’s state visit to Senegal will be a historic one with great importance to the future of bilateral ties,” Sall remarked.

“Xi is admirable for his wisdom and foresight, and his vision for global cooperation is being evidenced by the great Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect peoples and facilitate international exchanges,” lauded the president.

He stressed that the future of the world should be built upon cooperation, fair trade and partnership of win-win results.

The Senegalese leader applauded the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, saying it will traverse oceans and continents and connect people from China, Africa, as well as the rest of the world.

Lauding the marvelous achievements made by the Chinese people via hard work and ceaseless efforts, Sall noted that China's successful experience is worth learning from for Africa.

While preserving the splendid culture accumulated in thousands of years of history, China has embarked on a path of modernization through practices and exploration and grown into the world’s second largest economy, he hailed China’s development model.

Africa's development path needs to suit its own characteristics, just as the Agenda 2063 of the African Union was formulated on the basis of Africa's development conditions, he stressed.

Sall added the FOCAC is one of the world’s most important cooperative partnerships, and also one of the best operated forums.

The FOCAC Beijing summit to be held this September and the Johannesburg summit held in 2015 are a showcase to the world of China’s important role in Africa’s development, said the president, calling on a persistence to the current cooperation model which has already been proved as correct.

He expects active participation of more Chinese enterprises in the development and infrastructure construction of Africa, and calls it a new prospect of bilateral cooperation.

Sall expressed strong interest in the China International Import Expo to be hosted by Shanghai this November, pledging that Senegalese enterprises are willing to take part in it.

“Senegal-China economic and trade cooperation is in a rapid development, and we hope to maintain the momentum,” he added. –