Fifty-three African countries have given a nod to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Development Initiative proposal.
The backing of the proposal by African countries was part of the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) 8th Ministerial Conference which took place in Dakar, Senegal, from November 29th to 30th, 2021 as contained in the Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024) adopted by China and African countries.
In attendance were the Heads of Delegation of China and the Heads of Delegation of 53 African countries and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
Recall that following the severe shocks arising from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Xi Jinping had on September 21, 2021, proposed a Global Development Initiative in steering global development toward a new stage of balanced, coordinated and inclusive growth.
In the Action Plan, China and the 53 African countries commended the development of relations between China and Africa and believed that over the past 21 years since its inception, the forum has strongly promoted the development of relations between China and Africa, and became an important benchmark for international cooperation with Africa.
Both sides expressed satisfaction with the effective implementation of the eight major initiatives launched during the 2018 Beijing Summit and pledged to continue to pursue the vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all, promote high-quality China-Africa cooperation, and work in concert to defeat COVID-19 and advance post-pandemic economic recovery.
The two sides acknowledged that China, the largest developing country, has achieved the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and is striving to realize its second centenary goal and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and that African countries were endeavouring to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent.
“China and Africa are committed to further enhancing their comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership and building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
“The two sides undertake to create synergy between the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035, the Long-Range Goals for 2035 of China, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, thus drawing a long-term blueprint for China-Africa practical cooperation. China and Africa will make joint efforts to turn the vision into reality.
“Africa supports the Global Development Initiative proposed by China. African countries will favourably consider joining the initiative and make joint efforts to accelerate the global implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” the Dakar Action Plan read.
In the Action Plan, China welcomed African countries joining the Belt and Road cooperation.
China and Africa pledged to continue to uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, including following the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and advance high-standard, people-centred and sustainable Belt and Road cooperation.
“To implement the outcomes of the conference and chart the course of China-Africa friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields in the next three and even more years under the theme of “Deepening the Sino-African Partnership and Promoting Sustainable Development to Build a China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era,” the two sides jointly formulated and adopted by consensus this Action Plan.
“China and Africa will work closely to further upgrade and improve the quality of China-Africa cooperation. To this end, the two sides will implement the nine programs, namely the medical and health program, the poverty reduction and agricultural development program, the trade promotion program, the investment promotion program, the digital innovation program, the green development program, the capacity building program, the cultural and people-to-people exchange program, and the peace and security program. Relevant content will be reflected in the following articles of this Action Plan,” the Action Plan also read.
Also, in the declaration adopted by the two sides at the end of the 8th Ministerial Conference, both sides expressed satisfaction with the fruitful results of the China-Africa relationship achieved since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and African countries and the creation of FOCAC.
China and African countries applauded the unanimous decision of Chinese and African leaders at the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit to build a China-Africa community with a shared future that assumes joint responsibility, pursues win-win cooperation, delivers happiness for all, enjoys cultural prosperity, enjoys common security and promotes harmony between man and nature.
“We are determined to elevate the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership to even higher levels and setting a good example of a community with a shared future for mankind.
“China and Africa will uphold and value the principles of no harm and harmony, sincerity, equality, mutual respect, mutual benefits, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, and adopt a people-oriented approach in pursuing practical cooperation with efficiency and embrace openness and inclusiveness. China is committed to no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that suit their national conditions, no interference in the internal affairs of African countries, no imposition of its own will on African countries, no attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa, and no seeking of political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa. China and Africa will follow the principle of common, intensive, green, safe and open development and deepen their friendly cooperation. Africa applauds these principles and approaches and stands ready to work with China to pass on the traditional friendship from generation to generation.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for all humanity and joint cooperation will lead to its containment. We applaud the success of the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 held in June 2020, which demonstrates the strong will of China and Africa to combat the pandemic and overcome difficulties together. China appreciates the solidarity and support from African countries and regional organizations such as the AU for China’s fight against COVID-19. Africa commends China’s robust support for its pandemic response, including starting ahead of schedule the construction of the Africa CDC headquarters to help enhance Africa’s capacity for disease prevention and control and sustainable development. To strengthen cooperation in public health, China supports its pharmaceutical companies in transferring technologies to African countries and will work to advance cooperation between paired-up Chinese and African hospitals and the construction of China-Africa Friendship Hospitals, and the building of Africa CDC headquarters. China will provide more medical assistance to support Africa in strengthening the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases and building up public health capacity, with a view to building a China-Africa community of health for all.
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“We reaffirm our full support to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its leading and coordinating role in COVID-19 response and the wider global health agenda. We firmly oppose any attempt to politicize, label or stigmatize the virus, encourage and call for international origins-tracing cooperation in a science-based, professional, impartial and constructive manner on the basis of the Report of the China-WHO Joint Mission on COVID-19. We hold the view that COVID-19 vaccines should be a global public good. The international community must discard “vaccine nationalism,” increase vaccine supply to Africa, guarantee equitable distribution, and ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in Africa. We reaffirm our support to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX). Africa appreciates China’s vaccine donations and exports to African countries in need and applauds the important contributions of Chinese vaccines to Africa’s fight against the pandemic. Both sides support the waiver of intellectual property rights of COVID-19 vaccines. We commend efforts by Chinese companies in conducting joint vaccine production in some African countries and welcome similar cooperation in more African countries,” China and African countries said in the declaration.