CHINA Communications and Construction Company (CCCC), looks forward to constructing two container terminals in the port of Dar es Salaam in the near future.
The company's Vice-President, Eng. Ren Hongpeng, says he is awaiting conclusion of funding arrangements involving the governments of Tanzania and China.Construction work at the port will possibly involve dredging the port area and the approach channel. The company will also build the container yard at the two terminals where 15,000 tonnes of cargo would be handled.
The company will also supply cargo-handling equipment and other requisite paraphernalia. The project will offer temporary jobs to hundreds of locals, some of whom will be engaged as labourers. This is one of many projects handled by China in Africa.
China embarked on its economic and technical aid to African nations in the early 1950s. In fact, moments after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949 the nation began offering economic help to its neighbours.In 1955, soon after the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, China emerged as an active promoter of the South-South
Cooperation, and began providing economic and technical aid to developing countries in Asia and Africa.China offered economic assistance to 14 African nations, which included Tanzania, Egypt, Algeria, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, Somalia and Kenya, from 1956 to 1970.
In 1964 Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited ten African countries and promised economic aid.Despite its own economic difficulties, China offered maximum assistance to various African countries in their quest to gain independence from colonial powers and develop their own national economies.
In 1971 China regained its seat in the United Nations. The development saw China's relations with a number of foreign countries growing rapidly and the scale of Chinese assistance to needy nations also soared.It was at this juncture that China established more vigorous economic and technical cooperation with more African Nations financing a number of large and medium-scale economic projects and building infrastructure.
Examples in this aspect include the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara), the Second Sugar Mill and Sugarcane Farm in Mali, 13 stations for popularizing rice growing technology in Sierra Leone and the Belet Uen-Burao Road in Somalia.Other projects at the time also included the Capital Water Supply Project in Nouakchott, Mauritania.
All these projects have helped to intensify the relationship between China and the beneficiaries and promote social and economic development.In the 1980s China collaborated with the United Nations Development Programme and hosted technical training courses for African and Asian developing countries. The initiative saw the setting up of the China-assisted Sugar Complex Enterprises in Mali.
The effort also resulted in the establishment of a cement factory in Rwanda, a textile mill in Benin and a farm in the Democratic Republic of Congo. So, China helped establish development projects in Africa with outstanding social and economic effect.
Other such projects included the Medzerdan-Cap Bon Canal in Tunisia, the Lagdo Hydropower Station in Cameroon, the Nouakchott Friendship Port in Mauritania and the Moramanga-Andranonamdango Road in Madagascar.The projects also include the Friendship Hospital in the Central African Republic, the Sports Stadium in Kenya and the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Egypt.
In 1995 China started to issue concessional loans to developing countries in Africa through the Export-Import Bank of China. The initial projects in this category included the Cement Factory in Zimbabwe and the Oil Exploration Project in Sudan.
The initiative also saw a Railway Upgrading Project in Botswana, and Shrimp Cultivation in Mozambique. In the year 2000 the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was initiated. The forum became a key platform for dialogue between China and Africa.
During the first Ministerial Conference of the forum the Programme of China-Africa Cooperation in Economic and Social Development was adopted. China announced at the meeting cancellation of debts in the form of interest-free loans amounting to 10bn yuan.
The money was owed by heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries in Africa. It was at this time that the African Human Resources Fund was established. During the second Ministerial Conference of FOCAC in 2003 China announced increasing aid.
This move delighted beneficiaries in Africa. China also announced training prospects for 10,000 African professionals in China over the following three years and offering duty-free treatment to products imported from the least developed nations in Africa.
In November, 2006 China announced an eight-point plan for improving its cooperation with Africa. Effort in this direction included increasing the volume of assistance to developing countries and helping the African Union (AU) build a convention centre.
China also offered to strengthen human resource training, building agro-technology demonstration centres, rural primary schools, hospitals and malaria treatment and prevention centres.The Asian nation also offered to senior agricultural experts and young volunteers to help out in development initiatives in Africa. These efforts targeted sectors related to national economy and people's livelihoods.
According to a report compiled by the Ministry of Commerce, from 1956 to last year, China provided economic assistance to 53 African nations and helped some of the countries complete about 1,000 infrastructure, agriculture, industry, health and education projects.
China has also trained a total of 42,600 professionals in various sectors; dispatched medical teams to 42 African countries and 364 youth volunteers to 15 African countries. China also provided large amounts of goods and materials to countries that needed them.
Meanwhile, Eng Ren says that his company, which also builds airports, railways and other transportation infrastructure, is famous for its engineering prowess. Some of its bridges in China are technological marvels. The company has also built bridges in Indonesia and Serbia and high-profile roads in Nakuru, Kenya; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Kifangodo, Angola and Migmason, Equatorial Guinea. It has also built a cement plant in Congo Brazzaville.
Other road, harbour and bridge projects have been accomplished in Mauritania, Malta, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. Apart from construction of roads, bridges, railways and harbours in China, the company also won accolades for building Beijing Capital International Airport (Terminal Three) wing engineering feat. The Chinese company is a household name in Kenya where it also built the highway that links Mombasa to Nairobi. The road is affectionately known in Kenya as China Road.