China has played a positive role in redefining Africa and helped the once despaired continent to get back on track, the president of the Cairo-based African Export- Import Bank Jean-Louis Ekkra said here on Monday. Ekkra made the remarks to Xinhua at the third annual Dubai precious metals conference which is held under the theme "Engaging with Africa," adding that Chinese firms are investing in nearly all countries of the continent. "China provides both financing and know-how to explore the vast opportunities in Africa," said Ekkra. It was also thanks to China' s contribution that Africa has become the second fastest growing region in the world after Asia, Ekkra added. In 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis, Africa's gross domestic product as a whole grew by 3.4 percent while all advanced economies fell into a recession. Ekkra also praised Dubai's role as a trade hub linking Africa with China, as 40 percent of global gold trade flew through the Gulf Arab emirate in 2013. "China as a shareholder in the African Export-Import Bank has just doubled its stake to three percent, however, we are again in talks as we would welcome an even higher stake," he said.