On January 6, 2022 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Raychelle Awuor Omamo jointly met the press in Mombasa. A reporter asked how China viewed the current situation in the Horn of Africa.
Wang Yi said, the Horn of Africa enjoys a unique strategic position and great development potential. However, in recent years, hotspot issues have intensified and sometimes erupted into conflicts and confrontations, which are totally against the interests of people of the countries in the Horn of Africa and should not continue any longer. To support the Horn of Africa in realizing lasting stability, peace and prosperity, China is willing to put forward the “Initiative of Peaceful Development in the Horn of Africa” and support regional countries in addressing the triple challenges of security, development and governance.
China will seek greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Africa’s development strategies
First, strengthen intra-regional dialogue to overcome security challenges. Countries and people in the Horn of Africa should get rid of the geographical competition among major countries and firmly pursue a path of unity and self-improvement. The countries should take the region’s destiny into their own hands through equal-footed consultation. China suggests that regional countries hold a conference on the peace in the Horn of Africa to conduct in-depth discussions on this issue, reach political consensus and coordinate common actions. China is willing to appoint a Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide necessary support for this process.
Second, accelerate regional revitalization to overcome development challenges. The two principal axes, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway and the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway, should be enlarged and enhanced with the aim of expanding to neighboring countries at an opportune moment. Meanwhile, the development of the Red Sea coast and East Africa coast should be accelerated, so as to form a development framework of “two axes plus two coasts”, speed up the construction of industrial belt and economic belt, create more employment and growth, improve independent development capacity and catch up with the pace of the times.
Third, explore effective approaches to overcome governance challenges. China supports regional countries in exploring development paths suited to their own national conditions and in strengthening exchanges in governance and administration of state affairs to share useful experience and overcome governance bottlenecks. Various ethnic, religious and regional disputes should be properly handled in an African way, so as to create a united, stable and harmonious development environment in the Horn of Africa.
Wang Yi emphasized, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a sincere partner of Africa, China will seek greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Africa’s development strategies, solidly promote the “nine programs” of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and make unremitting efforts and play a constructive role in peace and development in the Horn of Africa.