…As AfDB President seeks more Chinese investment in Africa***
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it was almost concluding discussions with more state governors and members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of their defection to the PDP.
The party said it had already concluded discussions with six APC governors and 27 APC members in the National Assembly, who it said had also done their consultations and secured the mandates of their constituents to move to the PDP ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement, in Abuja, on Wednesday, that the party had verified that discussions on control of party structures in the affected states and senatorial zones had also reached an advanced stage and would be completed in a couple of weeks after which the governors and lawmakers would announce their defection to the PDP.
Ologbondiyan said that the affected lawmakers had promised to defect from the ruling party to the PDP as soon as the two chambers of the National Assembly resumed sitting.
He said, “However, in line with decisions reached at the discussions, the members of the National Assembly defecting to the PDP will cross-carpet at the reconvening of the session in the two chambers, which will increase the PDP majority in both chambers.
“The party wishes to assure its members that all grey areas of the agreement, including issues of waivers and accommodation for participation in primaries, are being smoothened out by the former Governor Liyel Imoke-led PDP Contact and Integration Committee, which has been galvanising our alliances among stakeholders across other parties, including those from the APC.
“The PDP also commends the spirit of tolerance, dialogue, accommodation and oneness of purpose that pervades the alliance among members.”
He expressed the readiness of the PDP to take back power at the centre, as well as in states like Plateau, Niger, Adamawa, Kano, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Imo, and Edo, which he called the party’s traditional states.
He also listed states like Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Lagos in the South-West as other states he said the PDP would take control of.
He, therefore, charged members of the party and supporters to remain steadfast and be “wary of the gimmicks of the deflated APC, which has resorted to sponsoring spurious publications filled with deceptions, fabrications and lies against our party.”
In the meantime, the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has urged Chinese business leaders to attend the Africa Investment Forum scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 7-9 November 2018.
Adesina made the call while addressing delegates at the 6th Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs, which took place on the sidelines of the 2018 Beijing Summit, attended by leaders from 53 African countries and China.
“I am sure you all know Africa is the place to be. African economies are growing well and the GDP growth rate is projected to average 4.1% this year,” he said.
Akinwumi had lively exchanges with high-level officials and business leaders from China, led by Vice-Premier Liu He, Governor Yi Gang of the People’s Bank of China, and the President of China Development Bank, Zheng Zhijie.
Responding to questions by China Economic News (CEN) on how China could be unique to Africa, Adesina said, “China doesn’t just promise, China delivers.”
In another interview, with China Daily, he noted: “There’s a perfect alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the ‘High 5s of the African Development Bank Group.” The Bank is already discussing with China Development Bank about formulating large-scale projects, which can fit in the both of the frameworks.”
The Bank President also described the relationship between China and Africa as a mutually reinforced partnership, noting that there are 10,000 Chinese companies and 1.3 million Chinese people throughout Africa.
Adesina cited significant trade imbalance as a challenge to be tackled. While nearly 90% of China’s exports to African countries are high-value-added products such as machinery and equipment, 75% of Africa’s exports are raw materials. He therefore called on Chinese companies to invest, and not just contract or provide loans to Africa’s public sector.
Highlighting energy and the agriculture and food sectors as opening vast opportunities and potential to China and the world, Adesina expressed hopes for a strong representation by Chinese businesses at the upcoming African Investment Forum in South Africa.
“This is not a talk-show, it is all about transactions. US$92 billion portfolios are already set on this platform,” Adesina said.
The Africa Investment Forum will convene project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors, necessary for accelerating investments in Africa. The three-day event will unite global pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and other financial sector investors.
The Forum will also bring together a network of financial institutions with instruments to de-risk selected investment opportunities.
During his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 2018 China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC), President Xi Jinping referred to the Africa Investment Forum as a concrete step for “building a shared future.”
Jinping pledged to extend a US$60 billion financing package and US$10 billion investment in Africa over the next three years.
China-Africa trade amounted to US$174 billion in 2017, a huge increase from just over US$10 billion in 2000. Chinese foreign direct investments in Africa have risen from US$10 billion in 2010 to over US$60 billion in 2017.