PEOPLE holding umbrellas walk past a banner for the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing. File picture: Mark Schiefelbein/AP
Nairobi - China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could play a major role in helping Africa achieve its economic transformation agenda, a Kenyan official said on Thursday. 

Michael Chege, chairperson of the National Governing Council of New Partnership for Africa's Development African Peer Review Mechanism (NEPAD/APRM) Kenya Secretariat told Xinhua in Nairobi that there are many convergence points between BRI and African Union's economic blueprint Agenda 2063. 

"BRI can play a huge role in helping Africa plug its infrastructure deficit," Chege said during the conference on China-Africa relations that was hosted by the University of Nairobi. 

The two-day event was held under the theme "From Sino-Africa to Afro-China engagements in the 21st century: Emerging interdisciplinary issues and research gaps". 

Chege said that research has indicated that approximately 25 percent of all infrastructure development in Africa in the past 18 years has been funded by the Chinese government, with the African government contributing an estimated 40 percent. 

He observed that the infrastructure gap in Africa is above 10 trillion shillings (100 billion U.S. dollars) annually and the BRI can make a contribution in reducing the gap. 

Chege, who is also a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, said that China offers critical lessons to many developing countries in the area of rapid economic development growth. 

"China was able to achieve high economic growth by inducing a high savings rate at both the household and government level which provided the funds to have a high investment to gross domestic product ratio (GDP)," he added. 

Xinhua