African officials hail Beijing FOCAC summit in boosting China-Africa ties

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-18 01:46:48|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- African officials have reiterated that the recent summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held last month in Beijing, China, and its outcomes show the commitment by China and Africa to continuously enhance their partnership in the new era, based on win-win and shared benefits.

This came on Wednesday at a seminar held under the theme, "Working towards a New Era of China-Africa Cooperation in the Spirit of Unity, Cooperation and Common Development," in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. The event was focusing on China-Africa all-round cooperation in light of its flourishing development over the past years.

The FOCAC Summit held on Sept. 3-4 in Beijing adopted two important outcome documents, the Beijing Declaration-Toward an Even Stronger China-Africa Community with a Shared Future and the FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021).

The Beijing declaration reiterates the principled cooperation between China and Africa, including mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, said Robert Lisinge, an official of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

China and Africa agreed in the declaration to form strong synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the 2030 agenda of sustainable development and the AU Agenda 2063 and development strategies of African countries, the official has reiterated.

"The BRI follows market principles and international norms, and advocates and practices openness and transparency.

"It also seeks to develop inclusive, accessible and reasonable priced infrastructure that delivers extensive benefits and is consistent with national conditions and laws, and regulations of concerned countries, and to promote high quality and sustainable development for all." he said.

"This is a strong response to critics of Chinese engagement in Africa; and shows the willingness of China and Africa to continuously improve the quality of their partnership. The principles outlined in the Beijing declaration are critical for effective partnership. Indeed, this awareness establishes partnership success factors," he has noted.

"There is, therefore, no doubt that the Beijing Action plan and the eight initiatives for China-Africa cooperation will be successfully implemented in these principles and practices." he added.

In his remarks to the seminar, Seyoum Mesfin, President of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation, has hailed FOCAC and China's endeavor to address the challenges of poverty in Africa through the development of infrastructure, including railways, road networks, telecommunications and energy among others.

He also noted that FOCAC has changed conditions for good for the sectors in which Africa has been lagging behind, and projects that were not given emphasis by western governments and international financial institutions.

The Head of Chinese Mission to the African Union (AU), Liu Yuxi, noted that the FOCAC Beijing Summit is not only a historic gathering of the China-Africa family, but also ushers in a new era for furthering the unity and cooperation between China and Africa for common development.

The new initiatives for China-Africa cooperation coming out of the summit are supported by concrete projects with a focus on quality, efficiency and sustainability, Liu said.

"We felt like that there was much broader scope in which the AU can engage with China to bring China into the continental dimension of this partnership." said Nadine Elhakim, Adviser on Strategic Partnerships to the Chairperson of the AU Commission.