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Fifth China-Africa People’s Forum in Chengdu | Coastweek

CHENGDU (Xinhua) -- Vincent Meriton, president of Parti Lepep and vice president of Seychelles and Clement Mouamba, prime minister of the Republic of Congo address the opening session of the Fifth China-Africa People’s Forum in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province, July 23, 2018. XINHUA PHOTO: JIANG HONGJING
Ties between China, African countries grow stronger 

CHENGDU (Xinhua) -- Afoluke Olufuwa looks closely at an exhibition board showing flight routes between Chengdu and cities in Africa, as she participates in a forum in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Olufuwa, who works with the Policy Planning Division in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was one of 88 representatives from 30 African countries and 50 organizations to attend the fifth China-Africa People’s Forum, held Monday to Tuesday. More than 100 representatives from China also attended.

“The forum is an important occasion to get to know China better and look for new opportunities for cooperation,” said Olufuwa. “For example, we should learn from China because it ensures anti-corruption efforts are effective.”

Economic cooperation between China and African countries has grown fast. According to Chinese customs, from January to May this year, trade between China and African countries was worth 81.9 billion U.S. dollars, up 17.7 percent year on year.

“The most popular Chinese goods include clothing, furniture, jewelry and synthetic hair. Rural people particularly like China-made solar lights because many parts of our country are still not electrified. The lights can be used to charge phones and small machines,” said Selma Theresa Philemon, chief parliamentary clerk for the Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs in Namibia’s Parliament.

Cooperation between China and Africa has gone beyond the economy and trade to include broader areas.

“China has helped us a lot in education, infrastructure and health,” Philemon said. “I hope China can continue to help in manufacturing and add values to our products, especially in mining and fisheries.”

Nicholas Ekow De-Heer, head of programs at the Institute of Fiscal Studies in Ghana, said the success of relations between China and African countries lied in cooperation carried out through the principle of equality.

“Africa needs China in the building of industrial parks, agricultural modernization and infrastructure,” he said.

The forum also witnessed the launch of the China-Africa People-to-People Friendship and Partnership program, which lasts from 2018 to 2020. It includes vocational training, humanitarian aid, donations, personnel and cultural exchanges.

“Guided by a win-win spirit, mutual respect and trust, the ties between China and Africa will grow stronger,” De-Heer said. 

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