Africa and China leaders meet to advance their Strategic Partnership
Johannesburg- 4th December 2015
Africa and China leaders renew their commitments to advance their strategic partnership to a higher level. This comes at the 2nd China-Africa Cooperation Forum (FOCAC) Summit, which kicked off today, Friday 4th December 2015, at the Sandton Convention Center, Johannesburg, South Africa, in a high level presence of 50 African Heads of State and Government, The President of China, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and heads of international and regional organizations.
Addressing the Summit, the Chairperson of the African Union and President of Zimbabwe H.E. Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe, expressed appreciation to the People and Government of China for the all rounded support provided to African countries, which he said, will significantly improve the socio-economic condition in the continent. He considered the cooperation as a win-win venture which aims at providing beneficiations and value addition to African products.
In her remarks at the opening ceremony, AUC Chairperson H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said that Africa and China need to work together for a win – win cooperation in priority areas, such as the promotion of political dialogue, industrialization, agricultural development, energy and development of natural and mineral resources. She also called for the acceleration of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on infrastructure that includes highways, Railways, aviation, Industrialization, energy generation, and public health system in Africa.
Highlighting Africa’s need for skilled personnel, Dr. Zuma called the Africa – China cooperation to be “the wind behind the sail of Africa skills revolution”. She also called for the promotion of cultural exchanges and tourism and to enhance people to people interactions including cooperation between the African and Chinese Women Federation. Referring to the Africa’s own developed transformative path “Agenda 2063: The Africa that we want”, she underlined the need for the two sides to join hands to achieve its laudable goals.
President of the People’s Republic of China and Co-chair of the Summit, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping recalled the positive developments of the China-Africa partnership, through the FOCAC process and highlighted the new measures that China will undertake to support the development efforts of African countries in the areas of training and skills development, agriculture, industrialization, development financing, energy, infrastructural development and cultural promotion and people to people relations. It was disclosed that China will earmark a total of US$60 billion for implementation of these initiatives in the coming three years.
The meeting was officially opened by the Co-chair, the President of the Republic of South Africa H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma who warmly welcomed the Heads of State and Government to South Africa. He expressed his appreciation for the new measures announced by the President of China which he said will further boost the relationship between the China and Africa.
The African and Chinese leaders will review and adopt the two outcome documents namely: Declaration of the Johannesburg Summit and the Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018), which outline specific measures aimed at consolidating the growing mutual partnership between Africa and China.
Held under the theme: "Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development”, 2nd FOCAC Summit, is historical as it is for the first time that African and Chinese leaders meet in Africa, in the 15-year history of the Forum.
The 2nd FOCAC Summit is expected to open new prospects for cooperation as well as new avenues for both China and Africa to further stimulate growth and unlock new opportunities between the two peoples on trade and other matters, and boost cooperation on Africa's infrastructure and Industrialization.
On its sideline, the Summit features a number of high level events that reflect the multifaceted nature of Arica- China relations. These include: Exposition of the China-Africa Equipment and Manufacturing Industry, High-level Dialogue between Chinese and African Leaders and Business Representatives, photo exhibition on the Achievements of FOCAC, Closing Ceremony of the Fifth Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs as well as Closing Ceremony of the Year of China in South Africa & China-Africa Culture Performance.
African Union Commission
Image by Unati Ngamntwini