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UPDATED: August 8, 2013 Web Exclusive
ChinAfrica Bringing Peoples Together
By Christopher S.A. Gonolinje

I am a regular reader of ChinAfrica magazine, a Malawi citizen residing in the city of Lilongwe. Despite the fact that I do not have the direct access to receiving this periodical, I strive to visit the (Malawi) National Library Centre located in City Centre in order to access each new edition of the magazine.

The contents of the ChinAfrica in my observation is food-for-thought and a gateway for African countries to real political and economic independence. The magazine name, CHINAFRICA is unique, in that apart from strengthening the bilateral Sino-African cooperations, it is inspiring the African people to be more united and reconsider the values of working together for the common good of the continent.

This magazine considers Africa as one, as the name implies–CHINAFRICA, not CHINAFRICANS. Africa is indeed one organic body of citizens, not a collection of nations and territories which had been divided by the presence of old and new forms of colonialism.

I believe Africa stands for: A=Alliance, F=for, R=Republics, I=Institutions, C=Communities and Assemblies (AFRICA). The colonialism of the pre-1950s and the new form of colonialism of post independence Africa has weakened the continents institutions and held it below the poverty line. I am grateful for the 50 plus years of China-Africa diplomatic and economic cooperation. African citizens from South to North, and East to West are gradually realizing that China's growing presence in Africa is not a threat, but an equal partnership that seeks a win-win outcome.

It is interesting to note that what used to be the sources and the causes of fear and mistrust about the Chinese presence in Africans are now the factors of mutual understanding of the Sino-Africa relationship. Africans have seen construction of sound infrastructure developments, such as state-of-the-art stadia in some regions and magnificent buildings in other regions, constructed using China Aid or soft condition loans. They have been participating in an improved trade or investments partnerships, and the new frontiers of economic values and directions have emerged.

It is a little known fact that the large number of Africans using paraffin as the source of fuel for lighting in typical villages is dwindling on a daily basis. This translates to the reduction of paraffin emissions, made possible because of China's easy to reach renewable energy products. China's commitment to improving the quality of its products is making Africans get closer to the materialization of some of the MDGs with confidence. This kind of commitment is cementing the fundamental feeling that China will cordially help Africa to translate resource opportunities into development advantages.

Africans must join the authorities in calling for the protection of "made in China" label, which is a fundamental aspect before the two emerging regions and will reflect the friendship intent of win-win cooperation and not a bait for plundering Africa's resources.

Africans anticipate seeing Chinese people and their businesses fully integrating into the African societies. Let me re-iterate, calling on the challenge of encouraging these citizens of different lands to associate at all levels and let Mandarin spread across Africa. Overseas localization and cultural integration are the common denominators and diversity ingredients of Sino-Africa trade and diplomatic ties.

The aftermath of over four hundred years of colonialism and slavery had made Africans mindful but voiceless global citizens, however they feel that having found a true friend and partner in China they now dream of walking shoulder to shoulder into the future.

The world, particularly the West, will be surprised one day realizing that Africa has at last fulfilled the long wished for, but often regarded impossible dream, of becoming one single nation, with a single leader, one government and one resplendent voice. I strongly believe such a step will facilitate to weaken the unbalanced international political arena for the betterment of all world citizens. And ChinAfrica magazine can be a vital cog in this dream and an ongoing source of inspiration for all.

The writer is from Malawi and a regular reader of ChinAfrica

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