#Achievements2015: The rise of Africa – China Ties

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China’s President Xi Jinping with South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma

#ChristmasComes early for African leaders was trending after China’s President announced 60 billion US dollars assistance and loans to Africa. The announcement came at the Forum on China – Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held over two days in Johannesburg South Africa.

The summit under the theme “China – Africa Progressing Together: Win – Win Cooperation for Common Development” was considered successful by both China and over 40 African countries were represented by heads of states, Prime Ministers and Finance minister. At least 48 head of states, 28 foreign ministers and other related ministers attended FOCAC.

Of the 60 billion dollars five billion was said to come in form of grants with zero interest loans and 35 billion in preferential facility and export credit loans and concessional loans.  A separate drought aid worth 156 million dollars of emergency food aid to African countries affected by drought was also announced.

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President Xi Jinping with Nigeria’s President Buhari

It was the first time for the summit to be hosted in Africa, a second time that China brought together African leaders since it was launched in Beijing in 2000. Since then China became the first trading partner for Africa overtaking Europe and the United States. Trade between the continent and the country has been valued at 220 billion dollars last year, 22 times more than when the forum started in 2000.

Hosted by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and co-Chaired by China’s President Xi Jinping the landmark summit is said to have opened up a new chapter of development and friendship between world’s second largest country and the most promising continent.

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President Xi Jinping with President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Xi Jinping proposal to strengthen the five “major pillars” of political equality and mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation, mutually enriching cultural exchanges, mutual assistance in security, and solidarity and coordination in international affairs, was met with support from his African counter parts.

FOCAC saw to light the agreement of ten major cooperation plans in the next three years between the two sides in the areas of industrialization, agricultural modernization, infrastructure construction, financial services, green development, trade and investment facilitation, poverty reduction and public welfare, public health, people-to-people exchanges, and peace and security.

Chinese President Xi Jinping  with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh
Chinese President Xi Jinping with Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh

Significance of the FOCAC meeting will have an impact on ordinary Africans in the next couple of years with many projects meant to be implemented. Such as the promise by China to establish a number of regional vocational education centers and several capacity-building colleges for Africa, train 200,000 technicians for African countries, and provide the continent with 40,000 training opportunities in China. Also that China will offer African students 2,000 education opportunities with degrees or diplomas and 30,000 government scholarships, annually 200 African scholars will be invited to visit China and 500 African youths to study in China each year and train 1,000 media professionals from Africa. These among other projects.

You can view the coverage of the FOCAC Summit here