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Two decades of bilateral friendship to a new peak …Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the FOCAC

By Philip Neville Jr. 

A train arrives at the Maai Mahiu Station of the Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya, Oct. 16, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embracing Africa as a continent is a huge responsibility to be carried by one individual or country. The Chinese Government in the year 2000 launched the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation called FOCAC. The aim of such laudable initiative is to create peace and development within the African continent with a strong cordial bilateral relationship between China and the African continent.

Commemorating this day, Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Council, Wang Yi, described FOCAC as been a productive institution between China and Africa and maintains a high level interaction between government officials and political trust from a “new type of partnership” to “a new type of strategic partnership, and to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.”

This year of 2020 is one of special significance in the history of the world and in the history of China-Africa relations. During the year, the global outbreak of COVID-19 created enormous challenges to the process of globalization and relations between major countries.

It is evident that many flagship projects carried in Africa for decades now are projects from the FOCAC. Among them, the African Union Conference Center, the Addis-Ababa-Djibouti Railway, and the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway project. Cooperation in other fields like education, culture, and human resource capacity building is still making impact in the continent.

Dilating on the bilateral exchange between China and Africa during the 18th National Congress of the Communist party of China (CPC) President Xi said that he had put in store a great deal of principles in guiding the China-Africa policy inclusive of sincerity, real results, pursuing the greater good and shared interests, as well as building confidence and trust; expressing the need for building a stronger China-Africa community with a desirable shared future.

Student exchange programmes and scholarships are all part of the cooperation plan in making the bond between the Peoples Republic of China and Africa. Notably, the China State Government Council has generously provided over 4000 scholarships to African students with a view to building beneficiary countries human resource capacity as well as the personnel through well designed modern educational workshops for professional jobs.

“Seeing a shared dream between two people that can change each other’s continent is what other first world nation should be doing in other for the world to quickly reach a modernize planet or enlightened world,” a political analyst said.

From West Africa’s Nigeria to East Africa’s Ethiopia, China has built more than 6,000 km of railways and roads, respectively, as well as nearly 20 ports and more than 80 power plants, which have promoted African industrialization and enhanced the continent’s development capacity.

This is also the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and is a special year for China-Africa becoming more united and strengthening solidarity in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic.

The construction of the China-Africa Community with a Shared Future, which is greatly helpful to the fight against the pandemic, also lays a solid foundation for the future of FOCAC development.

Since its establishment in October 2000, FOCAC, after 20 years of substantive practice and action, has shown it is not just a talk club for Africa’s development, but an important platform and effective mechanism for collective dialogue between China and African countries, exchange of experiences in national governance, and for enhancing mutual trust and practical cooperation.

It has become the most famous brand of China’s relations with Africa and its multilateral diplomacy. Over the past 20 years, the forum’s event held every three years, has become an important stage and a powerful promoter for China-Africa cooperation and development, leading to rapid and all-round development of China-Africa relations.

 

 

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