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Africa seeks expanded cooperation with China in infrastructure, energy, says COMESA chief

(Xinhua)

17:27, July 16, 2012

ADDIS ABABA, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Africa is seeking expanded cooperation with China in the field of infrastructure and energy, says Sindiso Ngwenya, secretary-general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Speaking to Xinhua prior to the ongoing 19th African Union (AU) Summit here, Ngwenya said that as infrastructure and energy play important roles in the economic development, Africa has adopted an ambitious blueprint for infrastructure development.

Africa plans to build a trans-continent highway and railroad network, and hopes China will actively take part in some of the projects, said Ngwenya, who will attend the upcoming fifth ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), scheduled for July 19-20 in Beijing.

Ngwenya said that he had great expectations for the Beijing meeting, which would address African infrastructure and energy sectors.

"I have been invited to attend the forum and I am confident that China will back the African continent in terms of developing infrastructure and energy," Ngwenya said.

He also said FOCAC should be more inclusive of the private sector in order to boost trade.

Meanwhile, Ngwenya expressed the hope that China could help African nations raise the levels of their manufacturing industries so as to promote an all-round economic development in Africa.

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