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World Insights: China-Africa cooperation lauded at 37th AU summit

Updated: February 19, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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This photo taken on Feb. 17, 2024 shows a view of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of the Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Xinhua/Li Yahui)

People from all walks of life in various African countries believe that China-Africa relations will continue to be a model of South-South cooperation and look forward to working together to strive for modernization.

NAIROBI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the 37th African Union (AU) summit on Saturday, calling for drawing up a new blueprint for China-Africa cooperation and promoting the joint building of a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.

People from all walks of life in various African countries said they appreciate Xi's message, believing it reflects China's high regard for Africa and its strong support for African development.

They believe that China-Africa relations will continue to be a model of South-South cooperation and look forward to working together to strive for modernization.

The 37th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of the Heads of State and Government opened on Saturday at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.


The world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, and the Global South represented by China and Africa is booming, which has a profound impact on the course of world history, said Xi.

The AU brings African countries together to seek strength through unity, and promote integration as well as the building of free trade areas, Xi said, adding that the AU's successful accession to the G20 has further enhanced Africa's representation and lifted its voice in global governance, and China extends heartfelt congratulations on that.

"President Xi's message clearly shows that China is by Africa's side in its development efforts," said Lalu Etalla, a senior editor at Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation.

Last year, Ethiopia's entry into the BRICS mechanism and the AU formal membership in the G20 were both explicitly supported by China, Etalla said, stressing it represents outcomes of South-South cooperation and features significant victories for cooperation among developing countries, amplifying their voices on the world stage.

Youssouf Mandoha Assoumani, chairperson of the Permanent Representatives' Committee of the AU, expressed gratitude for China's dedication to all aspects of the continent's development.

"Africa acknowledges and will continue to foster this win-win cooperation between the two sides, as well as an exemplary partnership," Assoumani said.

Amadou Diop, a Senegalese expert on China, said that through increasing investment and a rebalancing of international relations, the cooperation has shaped new international relations between the two sides and influenced global policy directions and governance methods worldwide.

Benjamin Mgana, chief editor of The Guardian newspaper in Tanzania, said that Xi's message emphasizes the importance of solidarity and unity among African nations and also underscores Africa's role in global governance, reflecting China's steadfast support for Africa's development and its commitment to strengthening cooperation.

"I believe that China's development experience is beneficial not only to Africa but also to other developing countries," said Raissa Ada Allogo, senior policy officer of AU Infrastructure and Energy Development Department.

"Through win-win cooperation, we can enhance the international influence of developing countries and collectively propel the world towards a better future," she said.


This photo taken on Feb. 17, 2024 shows a view of the 37th Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) Assembly of the Heads of State and Government, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)


Xi stressed over the past year, China-Africa ties have grown deeper. As the China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue was successfully held, the two sides decided to support each other in exploring their modernization paths and jointly create a favorable environment for realizing their development visions, Xi noted.

"The congratulatory message was warmly received," said Robert Y. Lormia II, ambassador-at-large at the government of Liberia, noting that the cooperation between China and Africa has been very positive and rewarding, benefiting the people of Africa.

"In addition to its support for the Greater AU, China continues to assist individual African countries. Liberia, my own country, has greatly benefited from Chinese assistance, especially after enduring many years of war and post-war reconstruction. This support has significantly contributed to our development progress," he noted.

"China's role as Africa's largest trading partner has spurred economic growth and created jobs in both regions," said Joseph Mutaboba, a Rwandan expert in international relations and diplomatic affairs, adding that President Xi's proposal for further cooperation in industrialization, agricultural modernization and talent development at last year's China-Africa Leaders' Dialogue in Johannesburg, South Africa, holds promise.

The 37th AU summit is held under the AU's theme for 2024, "Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality and relevant learning in Africa."

"It resonates with China's initiative to support Africa's talent development, announced by President Xi last year," said Marthe Dorkagoum Boularangar, rapporteur of the AU Advisory Board against Corruption.

China has built schools in Africa and provided resources, which has been very helpful, Boularangar said, adding that at the national level, China and African countries cooperate extensively in education and healthcare.

"The cooperation between Africa and China has achieved many successes. We hope this collaboration continues," she said.

Noting the cooperation platforms with China squarely address deficiencies, Humphrey Moshi, director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam of Tanzania, said he looks forward to enhancing cooperation between China and Africa for the benefit of the people of both sides and realizing the vision of a shared future.


Xi said that he stands ready to work with leaders of African countries, with a focus on the benefits of people from both sides, to draw up a new blueprint for China-Africa cooperation and promote the joint building of a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future.

The new session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is going to be held in 2024, Xi noted.

"It is beyond any doubt that FOCAC is a significant step forward in the long process of African integration, not only from an economic standpoint but also from a political perspective," said Namibian independent economic analyst Josef Sheehama.

"FOCAC continues to serve its purpose as a platform for collective discourse for cooperation between Africa and China," said Paul Frimpong, executive director of the Africa-China Center for Policy and Advisory, a Ghana-based think tank. He hopes this year's forum will be a bridge for entrepreneurial cooperation and projects benefiting people in Africa and China.

"Previous outcomes of FOCAC have distilled best practices where both sides have made enormous progress in a policy-driven approach and mutual respect, enhancing the benefits of cooperation, and developing clear lines of communication and engagement," said Lewis Ndichu, a researcher at Nairobi-based think tank Africa Policy Institute.

In the future, Africa looks forward to building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future and pursuing the greater good and shared interests of peoples, Ndichu said.

Since President Xi put forward China's policy toward Africa featuring sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, China has closely combined its development with aiding Africa's development to achieve win-win cooperation and common development, said Antoine Roger Lokongo, a professor of international politics and strategies at the Joseph Kasa-Vubu University, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Over the years, China advocates common prosperity, security and stability, and carries out win-win cooperation based on the social, political, economic, and cultural conditions and realities of African countries, no matter how big or small, working together to protect the world," Lokongo said.

Editor: Duan Jing