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Co-operation with China to promote Africa industrialization - AU

by Peter Mutai and Zhu Shaobin KIGALI (Xinhua) -- The commitments by China are set to promote Africa industrialization once they come to fruition, a Senior African Union (AU) official said.

Ibrahim Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), an AU development agency, observed on Saturday that the commitments that were made during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) need to be implemented.

"We are counting on China to continue promoting industrialization in Africa given that Africa is the youngest continent in the world," Mayaki said this on the sidelines of NEPAD’s Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.

Mayaki revealed that negotiations are at an advanced stage to have FOCAC projects aligned to regional bodies.

He said that Africa is a long term sustainability partner, adding that the world’s stability depends on Africa’s stability.

He said that the coming September 2016 G20 conference in China has come at the right time when the relationship between Africa and China is at its peak.

"Africa has a lot to learn from China including engineering," he said, adding Africa trains less than 30,000 every year while China graduates nearly 300,000 per year.

Mayaki said that with serious industrialization in Africa there will be additional jobs to college leavers.

"We need to embark on value addition to enable African commodities acquire new markets globally besides the big African market that is under-utilized," he added.

He said that political leaders are currently embracing priorities towards regional integration as a way to promoting cross-boundary trade.

Nepad is also currently implementing a project on gender, climate change agriculture in 10 countries with the aim of scaling it up in other countries.

He revealed that NEPAD has a climate change fund which helps countries to design projects to tackle the issues of impact of climate change on agriculture and give them the necessary tools and resources on specific projects in order to cope with the adverse situation.

"The program is women centered with the aim of bringing women’s informal businesses to higher levels," he noted.

NEPAD is a planning and coordinating technical body of the AU that seeks to eradicate poverty and create sustainable growth on the continent.

It has 16 regional cross-border projects in infrastructure in collaboration with the private sector and includes a gas pipeline project between Nigeria to Algeria, the Congo Brazzaville-Kinshasa bridge which will be expanded by a railway and a road.

The projects are undertaken with the African Development Bank and Regional Economic Communities.

"We are soon launching a youth and skills development on technical vocational centre’s to increase capacities of countries to focus on professional training and also link those centres to the private sector in order to boost youth employment.


South African FM to co-chair Co-ordinators Meeting of FOCAC

CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) -- South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Mait Nkoana-Mashabane will participate in and also co-chair the Coordinators Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), scheduled for July 29 in Beijing, it was announced on Tuesday.

Nkoana-Mashabane will take the opportunity to strengthen political and economic relations between South Africa and China, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said.

South Africa and China are the co-chairs of the FOCAC until 2018. The FOCAC Coordinators Meeting will assess the progress in terms of implementation after the commitments made at the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC in December 2015.

The FOCAC meetings are aimed at reinforcing the historical solidarity of friendship through win-win cooperation that exists between the governments and people of Africa and China.

This refers, in particular to large infrastructure programs that complement those identified within the African Union’s vision for the next 50 years, Agenda 2063.

In particular, attention will be devoted to the implementation and utilisation of the FOCAC Fund, announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping during the historic Johannesburg FOCAC Summit.

Nkoana-Mashabane will also engage in discussion with her counterparts to review the status of bilateral relations and the implementation of the 23 Agreements signed during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to South Africa in December 2015, according to DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

China promises more aid to Africa

BEIJING China(Xinhua) -- China will gradually increase aid to Africa, a Ministry of Commerce (MOC) official said here on Tuesday.

"China’s aid to Africa has been carried out in accordance with China’s capabilities. The aid to Africa accounts for a limited proportion of China’s gross domestic product," said Shu Luomei, an official with the MOC Department of Western Asian and African Affairs.

Since 2000, China has helped Africa build more than 120 educational facilities, nearly 40 irrigation projects to support agricultural production, and over 70 medical facilities.

Shu’s remarks at a press conference came three days before a Sino-African coordinators’ meeting on the implementation of actions resulting from the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in December 2015.

At the Johannesburg Summit, China announced 10 major plans for China-Africa cooperation over the next three years, backed by a package of 60 billion U.S. dollars.

Of the financial package, 10 billion dollars was allocated to a China-Africa industrial capacity cooperation fund, which will mainly invest in manufacturing, hi-tech, agriculture, energy, infrastructure construction and finance in African countries.

The package also includes 5 billion dollars of free aid and interest-free loans, 35 billion dollars of preferential loans and export credit on more favorable terms and 5 billion dollars of additional capital for the China-Africa Development Fund and the Special Loan for the Development of African small and medium-sized enterprises.

"The MOC, for its part, will push forward these projects in an orderly manner and in accordance with the schedule," Shu told reporters.

Since 2012, China has provided African countries with over 20 billion dollars in loans to support infrastructure, investment, small- and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture and manufacturing.

Shu said Sino-African economic cooperation has diversified in the past few years and expanded to more fields including trade, infrastructure, industrial investment, finance, logistics and regional aviation.

"China’s investment in Africa is a highlight of Sino-African economic and trade cooperation in the past years.

"It is set to bring Sino-African economic ties to a new level in the years to come," she said.

MOC data showed that China’s non-financial outbound investment in Africa jumped 10 percent year on year in the first half of 2016 to more than 1.3 billion U.S. dollars.


Nigeria sends delegation to China for FOCAC follow-up meeting

ABUJA Nigeria (Xinhua) -- Nigeria’s Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma on Monday led the West African country’s delegation to China for the Sino-Africa cooperation coordinators’ meeting scheduled this week in Beijing.

The Nigerian representatives, together with counterparts from other African countries and China will discuss the implementation of follow-up actions of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit held last December in Johannesburg.

The summit identified 10 critical areas of cooperation between China and Africa.

A statement issued by the Nigerian government said its delegation is laden with the responsibility to further boost Nigeria’s participation in the 10 critical areas covering agricultural mechanization, infrastructure development, industrialization, green development, financial cooperation, etc.

The Nigerian delegation to Beijing would also seek means to fine-tune and strengthen the implementation of bilateral agreements signed between China and Nigeria during the state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to China in April, the statement added.

Top political advisor stresses implementing China-Africa co-operation plans

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- China is willing to work with Guinea to implement the cooperation plans put forward at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit last year, top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng has said.

Yu made the remarks when meeting with Rabiatou Serah Diallo, President of the Economic and Social Council of Guinea.

This year is the first year for implementing the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the FOCAC in 2015. China announced ten major China-Africa cooperation plans for the next three years, backed by 60 billion U.S. dollars, including interest-free loans and preferential policies.

China and Guinea have enhanced political trust and trade ties and supported each other on issues related to core interests and major concerns, said Yu, chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee.

Also on Friday, Du Qinglin, vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and chairman of China Economic and Social Council, held talks with Diallo, calling on the two councils to strengthen coordination and cooperation to make new contributions to bilateral ties.

Diallo thanked China for its long-term assistance, expressing willingness to increase exchanges with the CPPCC in state governance and maintain friendly relations between the two councils.

China to host FOCAC summit follow-up meeting

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- China will host a meeting on last December’s FOCAC summit, a foreign ministry spokesperson announced on Wednesday.

The meeting on delivering the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held on July 29 in Beijing, according to spokesperson Lu Kang.

Forum members agreed on 10 major cooperations for the next three years during the summit last December, covering such areas as industrialization, agriculture and public health.

Ministerial-level officials from the 52 African countries involved, diplomats and Chinese officials will attend the meeting.

Africa making gains from China’s co-operation : AU official

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- China’s economic cooperation with Africa is behind enormous development programs that are today solving several problems on the continent; a Senior African Union (AU) official has said.

Erastus Mwencha, the Outgoing Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission acknowledged on Friday that Africa has changed greatly since the Asian country embarked on serious cooperation with Africa.

"The Chinese government has supported us in peace and security and supported in the management of Ebola outbreak amongst other projects in the continent," Mwencha told Xinhua at the ongoing 27th AU Summit held in Kigali, capital of Rwanda.

He revealed that in recent past, China has taken a more hands-on approach to the mediation in the Sudan-South Sudan conflict.

Mwencha noted that under the cooperation, plans are underway to establish the first Centre of Disease Control in Africa with support from China besides focusing on industrialization, infrastructure and poverty reduction.

Mwencha said that despite China’s decreased imports from Africa last year due to low commodity prices and slowing growth in the country, the cooperation must be strengthened further.

He said that the commitments made at the Forum on China- Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that was held in South Africa in December last year are being pursued.

"Deliberations around industrialization, infrastructure and poverty reduction in the continent has to be given priority as they form part and parcel of the AU 2063 Agenda’s vision of transforming the countries’ economies as they move from low income to middle level," he said.



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