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  • Writer's pictureInfrastructure Exchange

Could Belt and Road transform Africa's economy?

According to an economic analyst in Nairobi, the Chinese-proposed Belt and Road Initiative could transform Africa's economy.

James Shikwati, director of the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN), a think tank, told Xinhua, the Chinese news agency, that the Initiative is a game changer because it has made African countries start thinking beyond their national borders.

"What the Chinese have done is to galvanise the imagination of people to think regionally through cross border infrastructure projects," Shikwati said at the release of the Metropol 2019 Kenya Economic Outlook.

"It is up to African governments to put in place measures to ensure that they leverage the opportunities provided by Belt and Road Initiative to accelerate their country's economic development," he added.

Saying that the initiative provided an alternative to funding provided by organisations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Shikwati said the "Chinese are able to finance projects based on the long term needs of a country."

Shikwati said further that African countries need to take financing risks to fund their development projects.

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