Leaders attend China-Africa summit
Tuesday, 24 July 2012 13:37
The fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which was attended by six African heads of state, has concluded in Beijing, China
Aside from the Chinese government pledge of a further US$20 billion in concessional loans to various African states, a ‘Beijing Declaration’ and ‘Beijing Action Plan (2013-2015)’ were also adopted during the forum.
South African minister of foreign affairs, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said that South Africa, which is currently the co-chair of FACOC, will pursue a cross-country agenda in regard to relations with Beijing.
“It will be based on the aspirations of the African agenda and leadership,” she said.
The leaders of Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Niger and South Africa attended the two-day meeting, which brought together ministers from 50 African states with Chinese officials.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, Chinese president, Hu Jintao, and the prime ministers of Kenya and Cape Verde were also in attendance.
Formed in 2000, FOCAC has enabled greater state-to-state trade relations between China and the African continent.
South Africa will host the next FOCAC summit in Johannesburg in 2015.
“We are pleased with the results of our cooperation since we launched this forum,” Chinese foreign affairs minister, Yang Jiechi, was quoted as saying by Rwanda’s New Times.
“African countries have registered tremendous growth in infrastructural development.
“We are committed to open more and more prospective ways of strengthening our mutual cooperation with Africa.”
John Rwangombwa, Rwanda's minister of finance and economic planning, signed a loan agreement at the summit, worth US$116 million, with Sun Ping, the vice president of Export Import Bank of China.
"The loan's agenda is in line with Rwanda's goals to promote economic development,” said Rwangombwa.
“We have benefitted a lot from China-Africa cooperation.”
The New Times said that some of the funds will be used to start the construction of the Rusizi-Rubavu highway.
Meanwhile, Kenyan prime minister, Raila Amollo Odinga, was quoted as saying by Xinhua that China was not exploiting Africa but assisting the continent’s transformation.
He said at the forum that investment from Chinese companies was, "key to the opening-up of Africa's economy and investment” and invited them to invest in a proposed transport network connecting Kenya with Ethiopia and South Sudan
The project will include a pipeline, oil refinery, road network and railway.