by David Musyoka, Ronald Njoroge
NAIROBI, April 30 (Xinhua) -- China's investments in Africa look poised to help the continent to move from the vision to action stage, development analysts in the continent have said. "China's investment in Africa looks aimed at supporting sustainable development, by improving infrastructure and by investing in special economic zones," said Charles Robertson, the global chief economist and head of macro-strategy at the investment bank Renaissance Capital.
Africa's economies outperformed many other regions during the depths of the global economic crisis.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts positive growth of 4.3 percent in 2010 and 5.3 percent in 2011. "We are seeing the first signs that manufacturing by Chinese companies is taking place in Africa," Robertson told Xinhua in an interview.
Robertson said Chinese vehicle assembly company Foton for instance has set up a vehicle assembly plant in Nairobi, which will be the largest vehicle assembly in the region when it is complete.
Gerrishon Ikiara, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi said African countries should court countries like China that can offer new technology or markets for its products. "Since the beginning of the year 2000 China has emerged as Kenya' s main partner in economic development, both in terms of construction of infrastructure such as roads as well as financial assistance," he said.
Ikiara, a former permanent secretary in the ministry of transport said countries around the world are set to increase interaction with China especially in the area of trade as opportunities both in the export and import arena will increase.
Speaking ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa, to be held early in May under the theme "From Vision to Action, Africa's Next Chapter," he said the theme was very appropriate because all other continents in the world have already emerged to be big players in the world scene and Africa is the remaining continent. "Most countries in the continent already have visions and plans to develop their countries, however what they lack is will to implement these plans into action. There is also increased interest in the continent by the United States, Europe and Asian countries," Ikiara told Xinhua.
Editor: Mu Xuequan