The Sixth Senior Officials Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Is Held in Cairo
From October 18 to 19, 2008, the sixth senior officials meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held in Cairo. Representatives from China, 48 FOCAC African members, as well as regional organizations attended the meeting. Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun and Egyptian Assistant Foreign Minister Ambassador Ibrahim Ali Hassan, also FOCAC coordinator, jointly attended the opening ceremony of the meeting. Zhai addressed the meeting on behalf of the Chinese side and Hassan read out the written speech on behalf of Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. Both sides also attended and addressed the closing ceremony of the meeting. The meeting welcomed the entry of Malawi, which has recently forged diplomatic ties with China, into the FOCAC.
The meeting reviewed a report presented by Xu Jinghu, Secretary General of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum, on the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in November 2006, and further moves.
The delegates agreed that with the joint efforts of both sides, the implementation of the follow-up actions of the Beijing Summit has been satisfactory with fruitful cooperation on politics, economy, trade, social development, humanities, personnel exchanges and the Forum mechanism building. Both sides have witnessed frequent high-level visits, increasing political ties, closer diplomatic consultations and support and coordination in international and regional affairs. China has also expanded exchanges and cooperation with African Union (AU) and Africa's sub-regional organizations. The eight measures announced by China to enhance practical cooperation with Africa are being implemented with initial outcome achieved. China and African countries have conducted vigorous economic and trade cooperation, carried out colorful cooperation in the fields of social development including culture, sports, finance, science and technology, civil aviation and tourism and increased exchanges between political parties, parliaments, local governments, women, youth and businesspeople of both sides. The Forum’s mechanism is improving with richer connotation.
The representatives from African countries appreciated and thanked China for its unswerving efforts and efficient work in implementing the follow-up actions of the Beijing summit, especially the 8 measures on practical cooperation with Africa. The Chinese delegation spoke highly of African countries’ efforts to keep close cooperation with China and seriously implement the achievements reached at the Beijing summit.
The delegates agreed to focus on the following areas to implement the follow-up actions of the Beijing summit and deepen the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership. Both sides should build up political trust and give full play to the political guiding and promoting role of the FOCAC in the development of China-Africa relations. The eight measures to enhance China’s practical cooperation with Africa should be taken as priorities to comprehensively carry out cooperation in the fields of economic and social development within the framework of the FOCAC. Both sides should also identify key areas for future cooperation and pay more attention to improving livelihood of African people. They also agreed to strengthen China-Africa cooperation in all areas and institutions to continuously enrich the Forum’s connotations and further enhance the FOCAC mechanism building.
The delegates held discussions on the two topics of “China-Africa agricultural cooperation and food security” and “infrastructure construction”. Noting that the current international financial crises, food price hikes and energy turmoil have great influence on African countries, the participants of the meeting said Africa's cooperation with China in these fields will help the continent better cope with the risks. China agreed to continue strengthening cooperation with African countries on agriculture and infrastructure construction and offer them aid within its ability to help them deal with the challenges in the areas of food security and economic and social development. The Chinese government will continue to encourage the businesses with good reputation and strength to invest and cooperate in Africa so as to contribute to the continent’s economic and social development.
The delegates agreed on the initial plan for the fourth ministerial conference of the Forum put forward by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum and African diplomatic corps in China. They decided to hold the fourth ministerial conference of the forum in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as well as the 7th senior officials meeting.
The meeting successfully completed the mid-term evaluation of the follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit as well as preparatory work for the fourth ministerial conference of the Forum, and reached its expected goals of building understanding and promoting cooperation. China will continue to make concerted efforts with African friends to earnestly push forward the new type of strategic partnership between both sides.