The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Summit (FOCAC) underway in Beijing China has been officially opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping who said China and Africa have embarked on a distinctive path of win-win cooperation.
President Xi called for the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future that assumes joint responsibility, pursues win-win cooperation, delivers happiness for all, enjoys cultural prosperity, ensures common security, and promotes harmony between man and nature.
The Chinese leader reaffirmed China’s commitment to peace and development.
“China takes it as its mission to make new and even greater contribution to mankind,” he said.
Some of the key point from President Xi speech:
- China opposes protectionism, unilateralism
Facing uncertainty and unpredictability in global growth, China will remain committed to opening-up and grow an open economy for win-win cooperation.
- Xi announces US$60 billion of financing to Africa
China has honoured its 2015 promise to provide Africa with funding support to the tune of US$60 billion. The financing will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies.
- China to implement eight major initiatives with African countries
President Xi said China will implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.
- China to exempt certain African countries from debts
China will exempt certain African countries from outstanding debts incurred in the form of interest-free Chinese government loans due by the end of 2018.
Next to the podium was Co-chair of the summit South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who commended China-Africa relations, while also imploring the need for Africa to process its raw materials into finished products so as to realise greater value and returns.
Rwandan President and African Union chairman Mr Paul Kagame also addressed the FOCAC opening ceremony and saluted President Xi for visiting all the regions of Africa since his assumption of Chinese presidency.
President Kagame said China has proved to be a win-win partner and sincere friend, adding that Africa supports the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“Africa must articulate the continent’s priorities. Africa wishes to be part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It is time for Africa to step up efforts in improving projects management,” said President Kagame.
UN Secretary General António Guterres also spoke at the opening ceremony saying it is essential for China to share its progress with Africa, adding that the summit exemplifies the win-win cooperation the world envisages.
The UN chief says the world body is ready to support Africa in its cooperation with China, adding that infrastructure development is critical in Africa.
“The UN Supports Africa’s resolve to fight money laundering, illicit financial flows and corruption. We commend China-Africa cooperation based on UN values. UN is ready to support the continent,” said Mr Guterres.
The last speaker at the opening ceremony was the Africa Union Commission chairperson Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat who commended President Xi for his commitment to China-Africa cooperation.
Mr Mahamat says the summit will help in the integration of Africa, adding that connectivity between Africa and its partners is being enhanced through the summit.
“The AU welcomes the Belt and Road Initiative. Africa is committed to multilateralism,” said Mr Mahamat.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is attending the FOCAC summit and expected to address delegates during the summit.