A senior European Union (EU) official has hailed China's role in boosting Africa's infrastructure development while calling for closer collaboration between the EU and China to tackle challenges such as terrorism and illegal drug dealing.
Gilles Hervio, EU's representative to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), has welcomed China's involvement in Africa, adding that the continent requires a lot of support from cooperating partners and that the increased number of partners involving in Africa's development agenda was good.
Meanwhile, the official has called for closer collaboration between the EU and China in dealing with the world's new challenges such as climate change, terrorism, illegal drug dealing as well as the problem of migrants.
He said there will be need for close collaboration in building the capacity of African countries to deal with the new forms of war such as terrorism, illegal drugs and trafficking in human beings.
With regards to the West's fallacy of China's exploitation of African resources, Hervio said it was a big mistake to assume that China was only interested in getting Africa's raw materials, adding that China's relation with Africa should be viewed as dimensional in nature.
Hervio, who is also EU's ambassador to Zambia, told Xinhua in an interview that "China, like EU, is of course interested in trade, but is also interested in friendship, political and diplomatic relation. It is not one criteria that links the relation between China and Africa, it is multi dimension."
"I think we should not only look at infrastructure but also look at institutions because if you don't have strong institutions then your infrastructure will not be sustainable," he added.
The official further said there was no need to be apprehensive about competing for Africa's attention, adding that competition was good for Africa.