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Interview: China-Africa cooperation forum is "good example" of South-South cooperation: U.N. chief

By Gu Zhenqiu (Xinhua)

11:19, July 13, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, July 12 (Xinhua) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) a "good example" of the South-South cooperation.

African countries, Ban added, can learn from China's experience in its economic growth and social advancement to boost their own development.

The secretary-general made the statement during an interview with Xinhua on the eve of his visit to China, during which he will attend the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC on July 19-20.

"Even before I became secretary-general, as the minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Korea, I have been very closely following how China has been cooperating with many developing countries, particularly African countries, this is a great example of South-South Cooperation," Ban said.

Ever since taking office as U.N. chief on Jan. 1, 2007, Ban has attached great importance to peace and development in Africa. He also has made great efforts to promote the South-South cooperation in order to help Africa eradicate poverty, improve education, and strengthen the health care system.

"China is (the) second largest economy in the world, is making great strides and social economic development," Ban said.

"China can transfer technology, China can transfer your experience of economic development -- this is exactly what I expect through (the) China-Africa Cooperation Forum," he said. "Many African leaders can learn from Chinese experience."

The secretary-general said he has asked his home country, the Republic of Korea, which has also been trying to cooperate with many developing countries, to further strengthen its cooperation with the developing world.

"I'm (also) asking many countries like Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, who can have capacity for South-South cooperation" to learn from China in a bid to better the South-South cooperation, Ban said.

"Despite this world (is facing) economic difficulties, most of the African countries have been making steady economic development," Ban said. "They need more trained human resources, they need education, and they need political stability. Therefore, by providing and transferring technology and expert-know-how, they can fully utilize their potential -- their human potential, natural resources, this is what we expect China, and Chinese government through this African-China forum."

The Beijing forum is expected to attract ministers from China and 50 African countries to promote economic cooperation.

Jointly set up by China and Africa in October 2000, the FOCAC has made abundant achievements in the last decade, boosting the development of the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership in an all-round and tangible way.

The FOCAC, a collective consultation and dialogue mechanism between China and African countries, is the first of its kind in the history of China-Africa relations.


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