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China's reform, opening up inspires Africa
Updated: 2008-12-04 21:27

NAIROBI -- African can draw inspiration from China's 30 years of reform and opening-up and should expand cooperation with the country in efforts to catch up with the rest of the world in economic development, African scholars and officials say.

Eminent Malian writer Seydou Bodian, 81, who enjoys a high reputation in Africa's literary circles, told Xinhua in a recent interview that Africa, a continent rich in natural resources, is still plagued by food shortages.

China, as a traditional agricultural country, however, is able to feed its population of 1.3 billion people through its successes in agricultural development, he said.

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Africa, which has been hit hard by recent global food price rises, can introduce technical know-how from China in farming, including expertise on how to grow paddy, and also import farm machinery and tools in efforts to increase its grain yields, said Bodian, who has published many literary works, including Sous I'orage and La Mort de Chaka.

Aly Sow, director of Senegal's development policies research center, said the center is studying China's development model, which has been instrumental in maintaining fast economic growth in China and having greatly raised the living standards for the Chinese people.

The West has tried to impose some of its systems on the developing countries, Sow said. In the 1990s, a fresh wave of Western-style multi-party democracy resulted in huge turbulence on the continent, he said.

In contrast, China has stuck to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics and achieved great success, setting a good example for the developing world, Sow said.

Togolese government spokesperson Pascal Bodjona, praising China's eye-catching achievements in its reform and opening up drive, said "China's rise tells Africa that no magic will happen without efforts."

Professor Arnold van Zyl, vice-president of Stellenbosch University in South Africa, said the decision to carry out the policies of reform and opening up was vital for China.

Zyl, who has visited China many times, spoke highly of the historic changes which have taken place in China over the past 30 years.