The writer (wearing blue shirt) and other journalists during the Africa-China workshop
Dr Paul Mpuga, a Ugandan economic affairs officer at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) based in Addis Ababa has called for the alignment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) with Agenda 2063 for easy implementation.
The SDGs are a set of 17 ambitious goals set by the UN in 2015 intended to end poverty by 2030.
Agenda 2063 is a Pan Africa plan intended for the social transformation of Africa, which was adopted by the African Union in 2015.
Mpuga who was discussing a paper Reporting Africa-China from the perspective of Agenda 2063, Forum on Africa-China Co-operation (FOCAC) and SDGs during a workshop at Azzeman Hotel in Addis Ababa on Wednesday said UNECA was working to harmonise both programmes so that where they are similar goals they are supported as one.
Mpuga praised China as an alternative source for financing in Africa.
“Other financiers look at it as a possible threat,” he said. “It creates competition.”
China has of recently financed large projects ranging from mining, agriculture to power generation. Unlike western financiers, China has less conditions.
In Uganda, they are financing the construction of Karuma Dam and the construction of the Standard Gauge Railways both in Kenya and Uganda.
Early in the day Hellen Hai, a Chinese business consultant and chief executive officer of Made in Africa Initiative while discussing Reporting Africa-China Industrialisation: The pros and cons based on case studies, said job creation was the key to poverty eradication in Africa.
She said Africa has this last golden opportunity to get over 85 million jobs that will likely come from China in the next few years before many manufacturing jobs get replaced by robots.
She cited the example of the Eastern Industrial Park outside Addis Ababa that employs close to 10,000 workers in its shoes industry.
Oxfam also released a report that looked on how African countries can engage China and others countries to achieve SDGs and Agenda 2063. It found overlaps in FOCAC, Agenda 2063 and SDGs. The report called for integration of Agenda 2063 and SDGs in National Development plans.
The workshop, which was organised by Oxfam International’s Africa – China Dialogue Platform and the Africa-China Reporting Project based at Wits University in South Africa brought on journalists from Africa and China to increase and broaden reporting between Africa and China.