File photo of a women carrying her boy on the road of Mathare slum in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. (Xinhua)
by Frank Kanyesigye and Lyu Tianran
KIGALI, May 4 (Xinhua) -- China and Africa relations should build on ending poverty levels as Africa still faces major poverty challenges, Rwandan economist Donald Kaberuka told Xinhua in an exclusive interview recently.
"China has done very well in poverty reduction, because in the last 20 years the country's poverty reduction levels account for almost half the reduction of all poverty levels in the world," said Kaberuka, chairman and managing partner of Southbridge Partners, a pan-African financial, advisory and asset management firm.
"China has managed to dramatically cut poverty levels in a short period of time than any other country in the world in human history," the former president of the African Development Bank said on the sidelines of the annual Ibrahim Governance Weekend.
Economic ties between China and Africa in terms of infrastructure development and foreign direct investment are excellent, said Kaberuka, adding that Africa should learn from China's experience and success in poverty alleviation to reduce poverty on the continent.
According to him, poverty levels in Africa are significantly reducing and many African countries have over the last 20 years seen gains in health, education and living standards as their economies grow.
Despite progress made, major poverty challenges still remain, especially in light of the region's rapid population growth, said Kaberuka, who is also the former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda.
Differences between urban and rural areas and across regions are large, he said. "The rate at which poverty is falling is less than the rate at which the population is rising, so the number of people living in poverty continues to grow."
Development efforts to address poverty rates require integration and unification efforts, said the economist, adding that creating prosperity and reducing inequality will play a key role towards addressing poverty challenges in Africa.
He also said heavy investment in infrastructure, agriculture, transport and communication and health services will also help in dealing with the poverty threats on the continent.
The three-day event of Mo Ibrahim Foundation kicked off Friday, which convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa's major international partners to debate issues of critical importance to Africa, according to organizers.
Established in 30006, the non-grant making organization focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through its four main initiatives including Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Ibrahim Forum, Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership and Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships.