South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu says both China and Africa aspire to reach new milestones in the coming years.
Sisulu addresses the Opening Session of the 7th Ministerial Meeting of FOCAC, Beijing, China, on Sunday.
She says the quest for industrialisation, skills development, FDI in manufacturing, beneficiation, agro-processing and skills transfer programmes will provide ample opportunity for advancing the interests of the two regions in a mutually beneficial manner.
“For our part, Africa has taken decisive and tangible steps to determine its own destiny and we have adopted Agenda 2063, which is our vision to place the continent on a developmental path that will address Africa’s key challenges of poverty, inequality and under-development,” she explains.
In this regard, Agenda 2063’s Flagship Programmes are designed to achieve the following key deliverables, amongst others:
1. Improving railway connectivity,
2. Improving road infrastructure, sea ports and air transportation,
3. Investing in a well-developed ICT and digital economy, and
4. Developing agriculture and agro-processing
The final preparation for the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held on Sunday.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Commerce Minister Zhong Shan co-chaired the meeting with Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.
Participating in the conference were ministers or representatives in charge of foreign affairs and international economic cooperation from China and 53 African member states of the FOCAC Summit.
Wang Yi said that the ministerial conference this time has the dual task of not only holding the institutional meetings, but also assessing the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit and submitting the draft agenda and outcomes for the Beijing Summit.
Minister Sisulu says all parties should work together and continue to explore more efficient practical measures in promoting the cooperation between China and Africa.
“We are partnering with a country of a huge manufacturing capacity, strong and technological advancement and capacity in industrialization. Our relations with China have already made great strides in addressing Africa’s development and challenges, ranging from education and training to health-care, infrastructure development, tourism and skills exchanges. We need to further strengthen these important facets of human development,” said Sisulu.
The Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled for Sept 3-4, at which a Beijing Declaration and an action plan will be adopted to provide an action agenda for China-Africa cooperation in the next three years or more. -Additional reporting by CCTV