China’s top Diplomat, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, is slated for a three day official visit to the three most Ebola hit West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, from the 8TH to the 10th of August. The visit is coming at a time when the three countries have witnessed a lot of economic and developmental challenges as a result of the Ebola outbreak, over a year ago, and with China being a strategic partner to the African continent.
China has had a traditional history of strapping and unremitting ties with Africa for decades. In the process, billions of dollars have been poured into the continent’s development strides, especially in the areas of infrastructure and energy, recent example being the construction of the AU Headquarters in Ethiopia, by the Chinese Government.
At the multilateral level, the development cooperation between the continent and China has always been within the FOCAC perspective. Other vital tools, used as a development cooperation framework in the Sino-Africa relations is the China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) and Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank).
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa presented the continent and China a better opportunity on exploring and depending further the friendship. The corresponding immediate response from China was just too enough to serve a point to the mutual respect and brotherly ties that exist between the two. Not only have they poured in millions of dollars into these countries affected by the Ebola virus, running into 120 million dollars, China also sent in a team of medical personnel who braved it into our local communities, in a bid to help save lives.
Sierra Leone, for instance, saw how the air lifting of two chartered planes, carrying a China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory team and a China-Aided Mobile Laboratory as further support towards the country’s fight against the Ebola. This is in addition to the numerous supports Sierra Leone has received in decades.
The decision by the visiting foreign minister to, amongst other issues, discuss with the affected countries help that could be given in their post Ebola recovery drive further cements the view, that a friend that stands by you during challenging moments will ever remain trustworthy.
Wang Yi’s visit to Sierra Leone will be appreciated by Sierra Leone. His visit, in my view, will help in rebuilding investors’ confidence that not all is gone. It is also encouraging, that China is also taking the lead in having discussions with the leadership of the affected countries on post Ebola recovery plans.
I end by wishing him a successful trip ahead and Xiexie (thanks) for visiting.‘Huan ying nin’ (welcome) to Sierra Leone.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.