The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a millennial legacy of centuries-old ties between Africa and Asia, Senegalese academic and historian Mamadou Fall told Xinhua in a recent interview.
According to Professor Fall, who also teaches in the history department of University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, this initiative did not come out nowhere, it is a long-standing heritage which has linked China to Africa for millennia.
He indicated the BRI is "a return to a past of cooperation, support and friendliness that stands the test of time".
For him, "it is a thousand-year-old heritage of secular ties between Africa and Asia" that China seeks to consolidate through a program that is at once economic, financial, cultural and even institutional.
By bringing the peoples of the whole world to join hands for a good distribution of financial, economic and technological resources as part of a win-win cooperation, the Senegalese historian considered the BRI is a multidimensional cooperation program different from the unilateralism.
"The BRI is not a wishful thinking. It is a legacy of history, something that stands on its own, a principle of deeply egalitarian cooperation," said Fall.
This cooperation is no longer in "the asymmetry where there is a center trying to take advantage of a periphery", said the Senegalese academic, adding that it is "several peripheries that work in the direction of a globalized world where everyone with their potential will benefit from the experience of the other."
"It is a model of cooperation which leaves no room for the development of underdevelopment. A country which adheres to this program benefits from an immense financial program and from technological, economic, commercial and cultural experience", he noted.
For him, cultural cooperation and that of the education sector can lead to boost the educational potential of a country like Senegal.
"It is an initiative that is the heir to a long tradition of cooperation between Africa and Asia that the Chinese are seeking to consolidate within the framework of a more open and more massive program," he said.
This program, according to him, "mobilizes energy, science, capitals to allow itself to be at the service of a win-win cooperation where Africa can find its place on an egalitarian basis."