Paruk believes that infrastructure will pave the way for economic development by promoting job opportunities and enhancing connectivity.
As an example of how greater connectivity can enhance trade, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, she said, the initiative is replicating the glories of the predecessor by linking Asian and African countries within the BRI.
In Africa, most of the projects substantialized under the BRI are in the north of South Africa, with the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya serving as an exceptional example. She expects more projects to be carried out in South Africa, particularly in the area of green energy.
Paruk emphasized that the African continent, which is surrounded by lots of sun throughout the year, boasts favorable conditions for generating solar energy. The multilateral mechanism offers excellent prospects for closer cooperation between Asian and African nations on green energy and relevant technologies in the context of the increasingly volatile global climate and rising demands for sustainable, high-quality development.
Paruk expressed her admiration for China's profound history and cultural diversity. Despite seeing China for the first time and experiencing a fair share of the country, she said that she still found herself captivated by new discoveries on each visit and applauded the hospitality and the humility of the Chinese people.
Paruk said that Chinese people's sense of community is similar to the philosophy of 'ubuntu' in South Africa, both of which promote the interdependence and peaceful coexistence of people in the same community. And what the BRI offers is a global development solution based on inclusivity and sharing in a similar vein, she said.
In more than two decades of diplomacy between China and South Africa, China has maintained a close, continuous friendship with each other, which she considers to be truly special and valuable. The technological assistance that China has provided to alleviate the crisis in South Africa proves that the two nations have established a genuine, enduring bond.
She said she sincerely hopes for more collaboration between the two countries in the energy sector and a brighter future for the BRI with more fruitful results.