Free Trade Zones

Conference to boost Sino-African cooperation


Students watch satellite TV on Monday through a projector provided by Chinese media company StarTimes as part of a China-funded project at a school on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal. The satellite television project is one of the fruits of the resolutions of the 2015 summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in which the Chinese government pledged to provide satellite television in 10,000 African villages. [Photo/Xinhua]

The eighth ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in Dakar, Senegal, on Monday and Tuesday.

The conference, whose theme is “Deepening Sino-African Partnership and Promoting Sustainable Development to Build a Sino-African Community with a Shared Future in the New Era”, is expected to adopt four documents: the Dakar Action Plan (2022 -24), the 2035 Vision for China-Africa Cooperation, the China-Africa Declaration on Climate Change and the Declaration of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC.

It is also likely to open a new chapter in building a shared community amid the COVID-19 pandemic and rapidly changing international situations.

In the 21 years since the establishment of FOCAC, China and Africa have together achieved remarkable achievements and strengthened their cooperation. And China and African countries should continue to communicate with each other regularly and deepen their strategic friendship to face common global challenges.

The latest FOCAC conferences have introduced feasible measures to strengthen cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industry, education, human resources, health care, trade, infrastructure, people-to-people exchanges and security. In addition to benefiting both sides, the measures have also helped African countries address some major issues, including lack of funds, manpower and infrastructure.

Thanks to FOCAC, China has become one of Africa’s most important global partners and has boosted the development of African countries. China has not only been Africa’s biggest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, it is also one of Africa’s biggest investors and biggest financier of infrastructure construction.

FOCAC has also raised the global position of African countries, prompting the rest of the world to pay more attention to the continent, thereby increasing investment in Africa.

In addition, due to their privileged relationship with China, African countries support China on fundamental issues, including national rejuvenation, making the China-Africa partnership a model of win-win cooperation.

A better future awaits FOCAC as China and Africa have pledged to strengthen their cooperation in various areas including vaccine production and distribution, which will help contain the pandemic on the continent and thus facilitate the resumption of the disease. African economy.

It is also important for China and Africa to learn from each other’s governance experiences, especially because China can help African countries choose the development path best suited to their respective national conditions. so that they can enjoy sustained economic growth. And by learning from the success of China’s reform and opening up over the past 40 years, African countries can increase their economic growth.

FOCAC can also accelerate the creation of free trade areas in Africa and the integration of African countries into an economic bloc. China has helped improve infrastructure connectivity among African countries and can provide more support to boost their industrial sector, especially manufacturing, and facilitate regional trade and investment.

Let us hope that the new measures that the FOCAC ministerial conference in Dakar is expected to announce will strengthen cooperation between China and Africa in the digital economy and clean energy, stimulate sustainable development and people-to-people exchanges, and bring them together for fight against climate change.

In addition, FOCAC will continue to be guided by sincerity and good faith to build a vibrant China-Africa community of destiny.

The author is Deputy Director of the Department of Developing Country Studies at the China Institute for International Studies.

Opinions do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.