On Tuesday, 17 September 2019, the Chinese embassy in Senegal began festivities in Dakar to mark the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic China on 1 October 2019.
At the Museum of Black Civilizations, which Senegalese Foreign Minister Amadou Ba calls “majestic,” the many Chinese people who came to the reception hosted by their ambassador, Zhang Xun, can feel at home or express their pride as it was their compatriots who built it, as is the case for many other infrastructures in Senegal and Africa.
Tasting a dish from his country under the Lingala sounds, a Central African music played by an orchestra, the Chinese Ren, an agent in an electricity company, does not regret dropping off his bundle in Senegal after living in Tanzania and Kenya, making a total “ten years” experience in Africa for him.
Under the watchful eye of one of his colleagues, suited and booted like him, he said he was delighted to see his business flourish in the land of Teranga.
This is the same wish expressed by Modou Diagne Fada, Managing Director of SONACOS. This Senegalese national company oversees the industrial exploitation of groundnuts, a product that is one of the country’s main crops and a large part of which has been exported to China for some time.
Born almost at the same time as many countries on the continent were leaving the colonial yoke, the Republic of China took an exponential leap, as its founder Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976) wanted. It now occupies a geostrategic and respectable position in almost all the world’s key sectors: from economics to technology and politics.
China is the second largest economy with an estimated GDP of more than 13 trillion dollars, according to Zhang Xun, and has undergone “profound changes” that have made its technological development “remarkable” as well.
On the social level, the diplomat notes that 850 million of China’s 1.4 billion inhabitants have “emerged from poverty.”
In this way, the Chinese diplomat noted that his country intends to build on its “belt and road” initiative, which aims to link China to Europe via Africa, while adopting an “independent policy abroad”.
On this basis, the Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed China’s “engagement” with Africa, noting at the same time the many projects (health, sport, agriculture, culture) that the Middle Kingdom has financed in Senegal.