President Lazarus Chakwera says Africa needs investment and not debt for the continent’s economy to be delivered from the shackles it is in.

He said this when he delivered his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Third China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation (CAETE) Forum, where he was invited as the guest of honor.

“It is an honourable thing to bring Africa from the burdens of chronic debt and, instead, invest in the continent,” said Chakwera.

The Malawi leader described CAETE as a “defining moment for the global economy” stressing that China and Africa are partners in common pursuit of prosperity hence the need for continued support and partnership.

“China and Africa represent one third of the world population and its consumer market translates into one fifth of global GDP, this is why Africans have come here with dignity as traders and not as beggars but rather seeking their rightful place in the global economic partnerships that already exist,” he said.

He added: “It is time to imagine new partnerships whose economic dividends are exponential to the developing economies and African countries have a lot of catching up to do.”

The President added that it is time for Africa to reject and, indeed, do away with deals designed to impede and limit progress of the continent, adding that the growth must be seen and outrun external forces such as economic effects brought by climate change.

In his speech, Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Han Zheng, said China has always considered solidarity and cooperation with African countries an essential element of its foreign policy and, as such, it is ready to reinforce mutual support with African countries on issues involving core interests and major concerns for both parties.

“China is a champion of win-win Cooperation and works to put the principle into action,” said Han, adding, “China-Africa friendship has its roots and lifeblood in the people and the goal of China-Africa relations is to benefit the people.”

The Chinese vice president, added that the two sides have, for long, valued people to people exchanges so that Chinese people and African people know each other.

The China Africa Economic and Trade Expo is a 4-day event where African businesses will showcase their products and sell them to Chinese investors. Apart from opening the event, President Chakwera will meet different officials for bilateral talks.

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