The Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in South Africa from December 4 to 5. It has been 15 years since the founding of FOCAC in 2000 and nearly 10 years since the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2006.
The world situation has been going through great changes, whereby the overall rise of the developing countries is unstoppable. The development of both China and Africa steps into a new phase. With the theme ‘China-Africa Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development’, the Summit accords with the demands of China-Africa cooperation and will definitely benefit each other’s development, as well as the overall interests of developing countries, so as to demonstrate the new outlook of China-Africa common development to our people and people of the world.
The long history of friendship between China and Africa is deeply rooted in our people. During the 50s and 60s of last century, China and Africa’s people forged a brotherhood and set up a model for South-South Cooperation, by supporting each other’s heroic struggle for national liberation and independence.
With regard to economy and trade, China has been the No. 1 trade partner of Africa for six consecutive years since 2009. The bilateral trade volume in 2014 reached 221.96 billion US dollars. By the end of 2014, there were 3 000 Chinese companies running their business in Africa, with over 32.35 billion US dollars’ direct investments. More than 85% of the employees in those companies are local people. China-Africa cooperation contributes more than 20% to the economic growth of Africa.
With regard to aid, the number of China Aid projects to Africa reached 1 071 by the end of 2014, amounting to 47% of China’s total aid to foreign countries. Most of those projects fall into the category of infrastructure, ranging from railways, roads and aviation facilities to bridges, ports and power stations, etc.
The debt that China has abated over African countries is up to 21.3 billion RMB (Renminbi), taking 68% of China’s total debt abated over foreign countries.
In regard to education and people’s livelihood, China donated and financed more than 200 schools in Africa by September 2015. Nowadays 41 000 African students are studying in China, among which 7 800 have been awarded Chinese government scholarships.
China also donated 68 hospitals and sent 24 500 medical staff to Africa, trained over 6 000 local medical workers and cured 270 million patients. China has built 30 anti-malaria centres and 23 agri-technology demonstration centres in Africa and trained 81 000 local technicians in various sectors.
In regard to peace and security, China boasts the largest number of peacekeeping personnel to Africa among 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. So far, China has joined 16 UN peacekeeping operations in Africa and dispatched over 30 000 peacekeepers in total. In September this year, President Xi Jinping announced at the UN General Assembly that in the next five years China would provide free military aid, worth US$100 million to the African Union.
As the second summit between China and Africa and the first summit of FOCAC on the African continent, the Johannesburg Summit will be of great significance to the future development of China-Africa relations. China will launch a new package of initiatives aimed at supporting Africa’s development, as well as deepening pragmatic cooperation, to promote China-Africa relations to a higher level.
The new initiatives will serve the development strategies of China and Africa by focusing on the actual needs of both sides. China has issued its 13th Five Year Plan, in which its development notion is characterised by Innovation, Coordination, Green Development, Openness and Sharing. Meanwhile, Africa has made the 2063 Agenda and its 1st Ten Year Plan, fully launching the process of industrialisation and modernisation.
The new initiatives will help Africa achieve independent and sustainable development, by promoting the cooperation of productive capacity that will support the all-round upgrading of China-Africa relations.
By making full use of mutual political trust and economic complements, China is willing to share its experiences with Africa, help Africa break the two major development bottlenecks of poor infrastructure and talent shortage, as well as establish three development systems of independent industry, food security and public health prevention and control and solve three livelihood issues: employment, food and health.
China stands ready to join hands with Africa, enhance our unity and cooperation through the Summit, highlight the key note of China-Africa win-win cooperation for common development, and open a new era of China-Africa relations.
At this moment, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Namibia wishes to work more closely with the Namibian government, fully exploring the opportunities of China-Africa relations and getting more FOCAC cooperative projects into Namibia, so as to promote local economic and social development, improve people’s livelihood and help with the realisation of Vision 2030, as well as the building of a prosperous and modern Namibian nation.