Zimbabwean President: China and Zimbabwe boast solid cooperation
Emmerson Mnangagwa says the Forum on China Africa Cooperation is a good opportunity for Africa to seek development.
He says over the years China has, through the platform, injected significant capital into the development of African nations.
Mnangagwa, who was sworn in just a week ago, says his administration is eager to capitalize on the development opportunities that China has to offer.
"The last FOCAC meeting, China was offering 60 billion US dollars to Africa for purposes of African countries submitting bankable projects that are visible constructive for the development of that respective economies. Zimbabwe is not benefiting directly from that as much as we could have as a result of poor preparation on our part. Under my administration, we show maximum use of that facility so that we go and present bankable projects," he says.
Mnangagwa also notes that FOCAC serves as a platform for African Heads of State to interact with one another in a neutral setting, potentially allowing them to work on issues they might otherwise find challenges with in an inter-African setting.
Mnangagwa is arriving in China following his first state visit as Zimbabwe's president in April, during which the official bilateral relationship was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Multi-billion US dollar funding was also secured for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, as well as Zimbabwe's state telecom operator NetOne.
Mnangawa says all of these projects are not only bringing jobs to Zimbabwe, but also technology, which he says is critical in getting his country's economic house in order.
"We need friends like China to assist us to do projects that are viable, that generate revenue, and we have capacity to pay for the same projects that have been assisted. For now with those three, we are already on the ground. It is creating employment, getting more technology coming to Zimbabwe, and it is necessary in my view that we expand that relationship," he says.
Mnanagagwa, who was sworn in again as the country's president last Sunday, says his administration is going to be focused on the economy, creating jobs and improving the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.
He says China's economic foundation is something his administration is studying closely.
"We are aware that China introduced reforms to speed up modernization of their economy 40 years ago. And we are tapping into this reform program to see what characteristics in that reform program are suitable to our own situation in Zimbabwe, for us to move forward."
During his time in China, Mnangagwa is set to hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as top legislator Li Zhanshu.
It's expected the Zimbabwean and Chinese leaders are going to oversee the signing of a number of bilateral agreements.