The African Union (AU) and China signed a memorandum of understanding on January 27 in Addis Ababa on a pharaonic infrastructure project to link African capitals by roads, high-speed trains and air services.
AU Commission Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming initialed the memorandum of understanding, which also includes a section on the industrialization of the continent.
“This is the most important document ever signed by the African Union with a partner,” said Ms. Dlamini-Zuma, following the ceremony held a few days before the 24th summit of heads of state and government. de UA) which will open on Friday 30 January. “This is the deal of the century,” said Zhang Ming.
“Africa is a vast continent where people would have to travel without having to transit through Paris,” added Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming.
The project is part of the realization of the “agenda 2063” established by the AU and which aims to build an integrated and prosperous Africa by that date. No details, however, filtered on the infrastructure that should be built and on the financing of the project.
During a tour of Africa in May 2014, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he “dreams of seeing all African capitals interconnected using high-speed trains to strengthen regional integration and development” . The Chinese leader then specified that his country which has technologies in this field is “ready to cooperate with Africa to turn this dream into reality”.