ADDIS ABABA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China is highly helpful in expanding global cooperation and development, a scholar at an Ethiopian think-tank told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The initiative is in line with Africa's much desired need for infrastructure and economic development, said Ndubuisi Christian Ani, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies in the capital of Addis Ababa, on Monday.
Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is a grand plan to connect Asia with Europe and Africa along, and beyond, ancient trade routes by putting in place an unparalleled trade and infrastructure network.
The initiative enables Africa to seek alternate means of development, Ndubuisi said.
"What we hope to achieve is a new model of win-win cooperation," Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on Sunday.
Under the Belt and Road framework, Xi explained, all parties can join hands to meet the global challenges in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.
"The initiative is highly helpful in expanding global cooperation and development," Ndubuisi said.
"Although there is still less clarity on how the initiative will be implemented, it bolsters China's role and responsibility in the global economy and provides alternatives for global development that is pioneered by other actors beside the West," he added.
At the Leaders' Roundtable Summit of the forum held on Monday, Xi stressed that the initiative is aimed at galvanizing global cooperation and is open to all.
"The Belt and Road development does not shut out, nor is it directed against, any party," Xi said.
Highlighting its role in advancing Africa's regional and global integration, Ndubuisi said Africa should approach with caution to gain the best out of it.
"For Africa, the initiative is in line with the continent's much desired need for infrastructural and economic development. It enables Africa to seek alternate means of development."
"If it works, it would enable Africa to advance its regional and global integration initiatives," he added.