By CLEMENT CHALWE
‘OUR heart is wide enough to embrace the world and hands are long enough to encompass the world,’ wrote Amit Ray.
When something is good, let us give it a credit and embrace it. Such is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
This initiative, designed by China, will benefit the continent and people of Africa and enable them to develop quickly in terms of roadways, railways, maritime ports, power grids, oil and gas pipelines, and associated infrastructure projects.
By so doing, the flow of trade will be smooth and upgraded. This will enhance the standard of living for the African people as well as the world at large.
Programmes like the BRI should be supported because they are not centred on one person or a few people but are meant to benefit millions of the people worldwide.
But one may wonder what the belt and Road Initiative is and who is behind it. The initiative was originally announced at during official visits to Indonesia and Kazakhstan in 2013 by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
From 2016 up to date, this idea has been referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative.
China’s BRI is an ambitious programme that is aimed at connecting Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six corridors with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade and stimulating economic growth.
The BRI is a project which involves building a big network of roadways, railways, maritime ports, power grids, oil and gas pipelines, and associated infrastructure projects.
This global development strategy engineered by the Chinese government will cover not less than 152 countries across the world. This will include countries from Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.
The initiative will enhance regional connectivity and embrace a brighter future for the world.
The project which, has already started, has a targeted completion date of 2049. Objectives of the One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategy are to promote economic prosperity of the countries along the Belt and Road and regional economic cooperation; to strengthen exchange and mutual learning between different civilizations; and, to promote world peace
Countries like Zambia, which have excellent bilateral ties with the Chinese government, need to protect the initiative and see how best they can benefit from its implementation. Zambia should work hand in hand with China so that it can benefit from accessing the huge Chinese market, besides other areas, which will be made possible by the Belt and Road initiative.
Long live Zambia! Long live China.