Mugabe waxed lyrical in thanking Xi for the large aid package, which the Chinese president unveiled here today at the opening of the summit of the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation.
Mugabe, speaking as chairperson of the African Union (AU) said Xi’s speech had been “so rich in forms of assistance covering practically all our sectors, agriculture, mining, infrastructure, industrialisation …”
He added China’s assistance package also included measures to help Africa’s women and children. “It’s so much, so many facets of assistance … Here is the representative of a country once called poor. A country which never was our coloniser. He is doing to us what we expected colonisers in history to do. If they have ears to listen, let them hear.”
Mugabe said Africa’s relationship with China had stood the test of time and was destined to continue flourishing for some time to come, injecting new vitality into Africa.
He added, once again, detractors had sought to reduce China’s ties with Africa to mere commerce, driven by China’s desire to extract raw materials.
“The reality does not conform to this distorted, imaginative picture,” Mugabe said, adding the relationship went much further and was deepening into a multi-faceted one, based on China’s vision of peaceful development and win-win cooperation.
He welcomed China’s commitment to help Africa’s economies, by boosting industrialisation, beneficiating its raw materials and boosting agricultural production. Mugabe said China’s trade with Africa was set to rise from $220 billion last year to $400 billion in 2020 and would continue to rise rapidly through the Continental Free Trade Agreement and the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement which Africa was establishing.
The growing relationship between China and Africa would also transform global relations, Mugabe said, referring to the inequalities and lack of representivity of the UN Security Council and the Bretton Woods international financial institutions.