Addressing African Foreign Ministers and diplomats at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa cooperation in Senegal, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping outlined development and cooperation packages for Africa.

The theme of the conference is ‘Deepen China-Africa Partnership and Promote

 Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era.

Recalling the important support from some African countries to China, President Xi said “China will never forget the profound friendship with Africa and will work even stronger on this friendship”.

He outlined proposals for the fight against COVID-19 with solidarity support to the AU achieve its 60% vaccination drive. He also disclosed that China will deepen practical cooperation and expand trade, investment and also promote entrepreneurship.

President Xi also spoke about promoting green development and upholding equity, justice as China’s core values of democracy.

On China-Africa 2035 vision, President Xi outlined nine intervention programmes by China to Africa. In the medical and health programs, he spoke on the help to the AU as China will provide 1billion COVID-19  doses to Africa. Six hundred thousand (600,000) doses as donations; four hundred thousand (400,000) by joint production; 10 medical health programs and1,000 medical personnel to Africa.

President Xi also said on poverty reduction in Africa, china will lay emphasis on agricultural collaboration and investment with 900 agricultural experts and 10 agricultural companies. Taking along trade promotion programs, he revealed the opening of trade routes and provision of zero tariff with countries having diplomatic relations with China.

He announced the provision of 10 billion USD to support Africa export, provide 10 connectivity projects in Africa and invest in Africa investment promotion programs.

With that he stated, China will provide 10billion USD in the next 3 years to Africa with 10 industrialization projects and credit facilities to SMEs.

President Xi took the importance of digital economy projects to Africa, green development projects and capacity building projects where China will

build or refurbish 10 schools or refurbish in Africa. Also, invite 10,000 African professionals to China and create 800,000 jobs.

China will continue with their cultural and people to people programs as well as undertake peace and security programs by providing military assistance to the AU and conducting joint military exercises with Africa peacekeeping forces.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor David J. Francis, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, H.E Ernest Ndomahina and Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Dakar, Senegal H.E Alhaji Brima Elvis Koroma are part of the FOCAC conference with their counterparts in Africa and hundreds of other African diplomats.

The meeting would ‘review and assess the follow-up implementation of the outcomes of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit as well as the joint China-Africa response to Covid-19, and chart the course for China-Africa relations for the next three years and more to come.

By Abu Bah

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