The China-Africa Cooperation Forum has turned into a strategic and comprehensive cooperation platform for China and African countries.
The eighth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Dakar, Senegal, recently gave new impetus to China-Africa relations and deepened cooperation between the two sides. It also showed that China and Africa want to achieve their common goal of shared prosperity.
The eighth FOCAC conference prioritized health, safety, modernization of agriculture, technical and vocational training and infrastructure development, which are prerequisites for sustainable development.
Given the current global economic gloom and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, both sides should adopt pragmatic methods to boost struggling African economies and promote development in the region.
From January to October, Sino-African trade and China’s direct investment in Africa reached $ 207.1 billion and $ 2.6 billion, an increase of 37.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of a year on year, demonstrating the resilience and potential of the China-Africa partnership.
China has been Africa’s largest trading partner for many years, and despite the pandemic, China has continued to invest in the service sector of African countries, investment in scientific research, technological services, transportation , warehousing and postal services having doubled in 2020.
China-Africa cooperation is expected to become a model of international cooperation, with both sides determined to take their mutually beneficial partnership to the next level. In fact, the two sides have moved forward hand in hand, pragmatically and effectively, as evidenced by the increase in bilateral trade, investment and action plans.
China-Africa relations have entered a new era of development with growing mutual trust, win-win collaboration, mutually enriching cultural exchanges, joint health projects, public security programs, coordinated economic cooperation and partnership. and political commitment.
The diverse and growing sectors involved in China-Africa cooperation indicate the important role Chinese enterprises and government agencies have played in stimulating trade and investment between the two sides.
In addition, development issues are high on the Sino-African talks, and China has made more efforts to deepen South-South cooperation by increasing trade and investment in developing countries.
Chinese cooperation is based on infrastructure, on-demand assistance and the search for mutual benefit. As a long-term strategic partnership, the China-Africa relationship promotes sustainable development, combining trade and investment.
Strengthening the development capacities and the health system of African countries must be a top priority, as they hamper Africa’s economic development. Both parties, especially their companies, should therefore take more proactive measures to increase investment.
According to data from the African Development Bank, Africa needs $ 130 billion to $ 170 billion in infrastructure investments each year. And China has the capacity to fulfill much of that requirement. It is because of its enormous capacity for development and investment that China has become the largest foreign investor in infrastructure in Africa.
Since the establishment of FOCAC in 2000, Chinese companies have helped African countries with funds to build and modernize more than 10,000 kilometers of railroads and about 100,000 km of roads. These infrastructure projects have not only improved the livelihoods of the local population, but also created favorable conditions for African countries to attract more foreign investment.
China also plans to build transnational and trans-regional projects to improve connectivity between African countries and boost their integration. While Chinese investments to help develop the health sector in Africa have made substantial contributions to the overall development of the continent, China-Africa cooperation in health has now extended to medical research.
Throughout the pandemic, China and Africa have supported each other and made joint efforts to contain the novel coronavirus, with the goal of building a China-Africa shared health community. China has sent medical teams and supplies and provided around 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to African countries to help fight the pandemic.
And to further deepen cooperation with Africa, China will conduct bilateral, trilateral and multilateral trade cooperation with African countries and other international partners, and use its experience to improve global governance and achieve common prosperity.
The author is an associate researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Policy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.