Energy development is one of the keys to Africa’s sustainable development, and African countries are looking at clean energy to boost their economic growth. China had made promises at summits to ramp up efforts to help meet Africa’s demand of power with clean alternatives.
Summits of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) were held in Johannesburg in December 2015 and Beijing in September 2018 respectively. The two sides reached consensus on aligning development strategies and expanding cooperation.
China’s involvement in Africa’s industrialization through clean energy can be seen clearly in industrial parks across the continent.
Take for instance Hawassa Industrial Park in Ethiopia, the country dubs the park a supreme example of a model for sustainable economic and environmental development. The park is designed and constructed by Chinese companies and uses advanced technology for water treatment and recycling, thanks to which about 90 percent of water is recyclable.
In the words of Ethiopia’s former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, the park can be seen as a “foundation in Ethiopia’s ambition to be the manufacturing hub of the African continent”.
To further drive the development of clean energy, Ethiopia has enhanced collaboration with China to undertake major projects, such as the 300 MW Tekeze hydro project and the 153 MW Adama II wind farm project. Chinese companies are encouraged to invest in Ethiopia’s energy sector, with due stress falling on sub-sectors of wind and hydro energy.
These renewable energy-driven projects have played a role in the country’s efforts towards sustainable development.
To help address the problem of power shortage and improve infrastructure in African countries, China has offered aid in the construction of over 10,000 km of highways, over 6,000 km of railways, in addition to which ports, airports and power stations.
In Morocco, Chinese companies and local players have cooperated in the construction of Noor Solar Complex, the largest concentrated solar power project in the world. The station will first complete totally four phases of the project and is expected then to provide clean energy to more than 1 million local households.
At the FOCAC Beijing summit, China made its promise to jointly promote the Belt and Road Initiative advancement with international partners, in an effort to create fresh driving forces for common development.
The Belt and Road were proposed in 2013, with its aim being building a network of trade and infrastructure to connect Asia, Europe, Africa and others along the Silk Road.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a visit to four African countries during January 2 to 6, it’s the 29th year of a tradition that a top Chinese diplomat makes Africa his/her first destination of the new year overseas visit.
During his visit, Wang Yi reiterated Chinese promise to aid Africa in realizing economic autonomy and sustainable development.