A group of young African parliamentarians attend the China-Africa Friendship Group discussion in Beijing, on Dec 17, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference system provides a different model of democracy, parliamentarians from several African countries said during a discussion on Tuesday that followed a visit to an exhibition about the CPPCC's history.
Thirteen young members of parliament from eight African countries attended the discussion after learning about China's CPPCC system. They were the first group of young African parliamentarians invited to visit China after the founding of the CPPCC National Committee's China-Africa Friendship Group in June.
The China-Africa Friendship Group was the first foreign exchange group founded by the CPPCC National Committee, with the aim of carrying out cooperation with African countries at multiple levels and in various fields, building a platform for making friends and helping build a closer Sino-African community, said Lou Jiwei, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee's Foreign Affairs Committee.
Lou gave the African parliamentarians a general introduction to the constitution, role and main functions of the CPPCC, a distinctively Chinese political institution dedicated to consultation. Its members come from a range of sectors, political parties, religions and ethnic groups, and discuss and give advice on key issues in national governance.
Gideon Keter, a member of the Kenyan Parliament, said he was happy to see the Sino-African relationship had made "tremendous steps" and he hoped to learn more about China from his experience.
He said the political consultative system provides a more advanced model of democracy than confrontational assemblies and gives new ideas on how to advance democratic governance while avoiding a "winner takes all" mindset.
Keter said he would like to learn how China achieved rapid industrial progress, which could help provide lessons that would advance his country's urbanization and boost agricultural production.
Paul Amoru, a member of the Ugandan Parliament, said sustainable energy, long-term financing in agriculture and affordable housing are some of the areas where China and Uganda can work closely together.
He said the friendship group was mutually beneficial and he is looking forward to seeing more from the engagement.
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