Belt and Road has promise for Ethiopia, Africa: envoy

By Hong Xiao and Wang Linyan in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-05-11 11:01

The Belt and Road Initiative could advance Ethiopia's development as well as that of other African countries, Ambassador Tekeda Alemu, Ethiopia's permanent representative to the United Nations, said on Wednesday.

The initiative offers opportunities for participating countries to mobilize resources and speed up development, Alemu said in an interview with Chinese media in his office in New York.

Many countries, including Ethiopia, have had difficulties in terms of domestic resources mobilization, and infrastructure has been a major impediment to development, which is needed to connect people, expand markets and develop cooperation, Alemu said.

"So the initiative provides possibilities to those countries for infrastructure development and the connection with resources mobilization," he said.

As the highest-level event under the Belt and Road Initiative since President Xi Jinping proposed it in 2013, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing on Sunday and Monday. An expanded international consensus on cooperation will be one of the expected outcomes of the forum.

Ethiopia's prime minister will attend the forum, Alemu said.

Alemu believes that the initiative, which has been able to benefit all participating parties, has a great significance not only for developing countries along the route but the global economy as a whole.

He said the initiative would enhance the value of China's partnership in the development of developing countries and also connect Asia with Europe and Africa.

Belt and Road has promise for Ethiopia, Africa: envoy

What the initiative did was to create opportunities to favor all those participating parties "in an equal manner", he said. "Even though it began from China, the outcome reaches other countries."

Alemu believes it's important partly because it encourages people and countries to come together at a time when there's a need to avoid division and unite people.

"It comes at a right time," he said.

That's also why the UN Security Council and General Assembly have incorporated the initiative in their resolutions, he said.

Alemu said the partnership between Ethiopia and China has played a vital role in domestic development during the past decades.

One example is the Addis Ababa Light Rail project - a $475 million urban rail project opened in 2015 - the first of its kind for the city and sub-Saharan Africa.

"Over the last 15 to 20 years, we have achieved tremendous progress. In the role of the partnership we have with China, the partnership has been very vital in the process of development," he said. "We hope this partnership can continue going."

Alemu believes that the BRI also has great significance to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Many resources are required to achieve the 2030 Agenda objectives, and the BRI will be able to mobilize resources from more than 60 countries that will be involved in the process, he said.

"It would definitely be beneficial," he said.

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(China Daily USA 05/11/2017 page2)

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