Sino-African cooperation yields abundant fruits in 10 years

22:16, November 17, 2010      

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The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has yielded abundant fruits since it was launched a decade ago, Chinese Ambassador to Cameroon Xue Jinwei said on Tuesday.

The Chinese envoy was speaking at a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of FOCAC, a joint initiative by China and Africa to promote strategic partnership.

The partnership is distinguished by three key words each starting with letter C: strategic Confidence, win-win Cooperation and pragmatic Concretization, officials said.

In the presence of Cameroonian government officials and members of the civil society organizations, the Chinese ambassador reiterated that FOCAC had become an important platform for dialogue and pragmatic cooperation between China and African countries.

He noted that FOCAC had started attracting the attention of the whole world. "The international community has started to pay much attention to Africa," he told the gathering.

According to the statistics presented by the ambassador, in the past decade, Sino-African relations registered considerable progress in all sectors.

Their commercial exchanges have multiplied and their diplomatic consultations as well as strategic dialogue have intensified with each passing day. A Chinese follow-up committee was set up to monitor the implementation of FOCAC projects.

"Sino-African commercial exchanges have increased from 10.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2000 to 106.8 billion dollars in 2008. In 2009, China became Africa's No. 1 trade partner. Regarding African exports to China, they went up from 5.6 billion dollars in 2000 to 43.3 billion dollars in 2009," the ambassador pointed out.

"There are almost 2,000 Chinese firms on the African continent and they have created about 300,000 jobs. The direct Chinese investments grew from 200 million dollars in 2000 to 1.44 billion dollars, thus making Africa the fourth destination for Chinese investments," he added.

Xue said there were real and visible results when it comes to Chinese aid to Africa, which is essentially meant to improve the well-being of the people or to assist countries that are in urgent need of aid.

"China has cancelled debts of poor and highly indebted African countries. In order to help Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals, China has constructed 150 schools, 30 hospitals, 30 anti-malaria centers and 20 agricultural pilot centers on the African continent," the ambassador said.

The number of governmental scholarships has doubled between 2006 and 2009 to come to 4,000 students. More than 30,000 Africans have participated in different training programs organized by China. Exchange programs between Chinese and African youths, provinces and towns have also multiplied.

Cameroon's Foreign Minister Henri Eyebe Ayisi hailed the strong Cameroon-China relations which he saw as part of the Africa-China cooperation.

"After 10 years, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation has proved a win-win type of partnership," the minister told Xinhua.

"We have realized that the principles that guide Africa-China forum bring values that Africa has always been seeking: equality, equity, mutual respect and disbursement of promised funds on time so that we can complete projects in various sectors and hence improve the living conditions of our people," he added.

Citing the Chinese funding for the construction of Memve'ele hydroelectric dam, Mekin hydroelectric dam and the Douala water conveyance project, Cameroon's Energy and Water Minister Michael Tomdio told Xinhua that he was convinced that the cooperation between the two countries was getting better and better.

Others who were present at the ceremony included Justice Minister Amadou Ali, Health Minister Andre Mama Fouda, parliamentarians as well as representatives of diplomatic corps in Cameroon.

Source: Xinhua


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