The People’s Republic of China has pledged to strengthen cooperation with the East African Community (EAC) in capacity building, trade, infrastructure development and other fields.
The Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania and the EAC, H.E. Chen Mingjian, said that China as the world’s largest developing country was highly optimistic about promoting economic growth not just in the EAC but on the entire African continent.
Amb. Mingjian said that China would remain a staunch and strong supporter of EAC on development matters, and reaffirmed her country’s desire to strengthen collaboration and solidarity with the Community for the mutual benefit of both parties.
The Chinese envoy described the EAC as the sub-regional organisation with the highest degree of integration in Africa, adding that the Community was peace and security among other noble initiatives.
“China highly appreciates the significant contribution made by EAC in maintaining regional peace and stability, improving regional infrastructure, jointly fighting against the COVID-19, promoting regional economic integration and economic recovery of countries in the region,” said Amb. Mingjian.
Amb. Mingjian was speaking at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania where she officially handed over eight vehicles – three (3) buses and five (5) double cabin pick-ups – to the EAC.
The envoy said that the $400,000 donation of vehicles from the Chinese government would assist the EAC by improving its capacity in organising and coordinating meetings and events across the region.
Amb. Mingjian disclosed that China had also dispatched technicians and assorted motor vehicle spare parts to aid in the maintenance and operations of the vehicles, adding that the vehicles are from the most well-known Chinese automobile manufacturers including Zhongtong and JMC.
“The eight vehicles I am going to hand over to the EAC Secretariat today are all aided by the Chinese government, including 2 medium buses, 1 large bus and 5 pick-up trucks. These vehicles are all from the most well-known automobile brands in China, like Zhongtong Bus, Jiangling Motors, with reliable quality and strong practicability,” said Amb. Mingjian.
“From March 14th to 17th this year, the project implementation company dispatched 4 technicians to Arusha to provide technical services such as inspection and maintenance for the vehicles, and to provide guidance and training for drivers and technicians of the EAC,” added the envoy.
Receiving the buses on behalf of the EAC Secretary General, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki, the Director of Social Sectors at the EAC Secretariat, Dr. Irene Isaka, thanked the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the generous donation noting that the handover was a demonstration of the excellent relations existing between China and the EAC.
“The friendly relations between China and EAC have continued to develop in depth, and pragmatic cooperation in various fields has achieved remarkable results. On an annual basis, the Peoples Republic of China has been supporting EAC capacity building programmes,” said Dr. Isaka.
“Last year, China donated funds to EAC to support EAC’s development projects and the 4th EAC Youth Leadership Summit. China has also continued to make substantial contributions in the region especially in the areas of infrastructure development projects geared towards promotion of intra-EAC trade,” said Dr. Isaka.
Dr. Isaka further thanked China for reaffirming her commitment to support peace building and good governance initiatives in the region.