A significant export, trade and development partner to Africa, China brings, particularly to South Africa, a host of industrial innovations, which if adapted for the local environment can help with various productivity and performance improvements, plus competitive advantage in the public and business sectors, said Prof Douglas Boateng, CEO of PanAvest International & Partners, at a public lecture in October.
“There is a need for faster economic growth and for an inclusive South African economy. And ESD is one of the key economic development tools to address some of the challenges faced by the country,” said Mmadiboka Chokoe, Group Supplier Development Executive Manager, Transnet, who spoke to SmartProcurement after the lecture.
The rapid industrialisation of China has accelerated growth in many African countries, particularly those rich in natural resources.
China is already an important import and export partner for South Africa.
The political and economic ties between South Africa and China have intensified in recent years, with China committing to provide financial and technological support for, among others, the National Development Plan and 2030 vision.
“SA needs to commercialise so that we beneficiate our raw materials. South Africa is an importer rather than a manufacturer, which is why the country is faced with high unemployment and shortage of skilled people, said Chokoe.
Manufacturing locally creates more jobs locally, “and that is industrialisation,” said Chokoe.
Boateng called on African leaders to encourage the Chinese to set up more factories in Africa to produce what is required and consumed in Africa.
“China is amenable to ventures that will help to uplift the people of the region. However, the regions’ leaders must do their homework, and know what they want before engaging their counterparts from China,” said Boateng.
The key to any successful collaborative partnership is knowing what you want and negotiating for it, said Boateng.