Experts, stakeholders discuss Sino-African cooperation prospects

08:36, May 07, 2010      

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The cooperation between China and Africa is one of the hottest topics at 20th World Economic Forum on Africa, being held Dar Es Salaam.

Many participants believe that while the Sino-African partnership has reaped concrete fruits, there is room for further improvement.

Africa's cooperation with China should be strengthened so as to help "reverse the de-industrialization" of African economies, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said during the forum's interactive session on the China-Africa partnership.

The prime minister said Africa expects China to support its infrastructure development, invest in its manufacturing sector and help develop skills for African professionals.

Rob Davies, minister of trade and industry of South Africa, said it is in the interest of both China and Africa to further promote cooperation, adding that Africa needs to better understand China's priorities and create mutually beneficial economic relations.

Liu Guijin, China's special envoy on African affairs, noted the need for increased trilateral cooperation which will integrate the interests of China and the Western world in Africa.

"There is a possibility for an alignment of these new emerging interests," Liu said. "We have different priorities in policy design and different approaches in engaging the African continent. But we have to ensure that cooperation would be a win-win trilateral process that will bring the advantages of the Chinese way of doing things together with the advantages of Western donors so that all African countries will equally benefit," he said.

Referring to some countries' perception of China as a rising rival, Hafsat Abiola-Costello, founder and CEO of Chinese firm China-Africa Bridge, said people-to-people interaction between China and Africa should be strengthened to provide a better mutual understanding for both peoples.

She said more scholarships, student exchanges and business fairs should be held to promote private sector collaboration.

The 20th World Economic Forum on Africa, held on May 5-7 under the theme "Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy," is gathering around 1,000 participants from over 80 countries to discuss the continent's development agenda.

Participants are expected to exchange ideas on Africa's growth strategy, the continent's response to the global economic crisis, infrastructure development, and peace and security, among others.

Source:China Daily


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