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Accelerate, building China-Africa Community with shared future

BY: Lu Kung
Akufo-Addo and Xi Jinping
Akufo-Addo and Xi Jinping

In November 2021, the Eighth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Ministerial Conference was successfully convened in Dakar, Senegal.

The conference adopted four outcome documents, including the Dakar Declaration. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of nine programmes for China-Africa cooperation.

Since the conference, despite the evolving international situation, China and Africa have stayed our course in enhancing solidarity and focusing on cooperation.

We have made good progress in implementing the outcomes of the conference, bringing real benefits to the people in Africa.

On August 18, 2022, the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC was successfully held via video link.

The meeting reached a three-point consensus:

First, both sides are committed to accelerating the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.

Second, both sides are committed to strengthening solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.

Third, both sides are committed to constantly boosting the well-established credentials of FOCAC.

Time-honoured friendship

China is the largest developing country, while Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries. Developing solidarity and cooperation with African countries has been the cornerstone of China’s foreign policy, as well as a firm and long-standing strategy.

Since the fight for national liberation and independence, China and African countries have always supported each other and pursued common development, forging unbreakable fraternity. Shared past experiences and similar aims and goals have brought China and Africa close together.

China and Africa will always be a community of shared future.

China-Africa relationship is at its historical best. Fifty-two African countries and the African Union Commission have signed cooperation documents with China on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In the Dakar Declaration, African countries welcomed and supported the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping, becoming the first continent to do so.

In May 2021, China and Africa together launched the Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development to pool resources in those areas where Africa’s most urgent needs lay, promote consensus among the international community and provide greater impetus to Africa’s development.

Standing at a new historical starting point, China will continue to follow the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and pursuing the greater good and shared interests put forth by President Xi Jinping. China will always be Africa’s partner of mutual respect, equality and sincere cooperation.

We will firmly support African countries in pursuing your own development paths and seeking strength through unity.

China supports the AU in joining the G20 and supports Uganda in hosting a successful high-level meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

We will work with Africa to carry forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, practise true multilateralism and jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

Sincere, generous assistance

China-Africa cooperation is about mutual support between developing countries. Over the years, China has formed a distinctive approach to a win-win cooperation with Africa.

China’s approach involves upholding four principles:

Upholding sincerity, friendship and equality; upholding shared interests and the greater good, with greater emphasis on the latter; upholding a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency; and upholding openness and inclusiveness.

There are five lines that China will not cross: no interference in African countries’ choice of a development path that fi ts their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs; no imposition of its will on African countries; no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no pursuit of selfi sh political gains through investment and fi nancing cooperation with Africa.

Foreign aid from 2013 to 2018 totalled RMB270 billion. Of this sum, 45 per cent went to African countries in the form of grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans.

From 2000 to 2020, China helped African countries build more than 13,000 km of roads and railway and more than 80 large-scale power facilities, and funded over 130 medical facilities, 45 sports venues and over 170 schools. It also trained more than 160,000 personnel for Africa and built a series of flagship projects, including the AU Conference Centre.

China has sent a total of 23,000 medical team members to 48 African countries, who have treated 230 million patients.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has sent medical teams to 17 African countries and provided 189 million doses of vaccines to 27 African countries.

Joint production of vaccines in Africa now has an annual capacity of about 400 million doses.

The Africa CDC Headquarters building has topped out and is expected to be completed early next year.

This year, China has provided emergency food assistance to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

On July 8 at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward China’s initiative on international food security cooperation.

The writer is the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana.