Online event affirms China-Africa ties

Updated: 2022-05-27


An online exchange between members from the China-Africa Friendship Group of the CPPCC National Committee and African parliamentarians was held on Wednesday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

China and African countries will deepen cooperation in the future, members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and African parliamentarians said during an online workshop that wrapped up on Thursday.

The workshop was organized by the Academy for International Business Officials, an institute committed to China's foreign assistance cooperation in human resources development, which comes under the umbrella of the Ministry of Commerce.

The workshop's aim was to enhance African parliamentarians' understanding of China's democratic consultation system and strengthen the exchange of experience of governance, according to its organizer.

The 14-day event, which began on May 13th, featured online courses mainly given by CPPCC members on a variety of topics, including poverty alleviation and the fight against COVID-19, as well as how the CPPCC National Committee works.

Some 55 participants from countries including Cameroon, Kenya and Malawi took part. The program also included exchange sessions between African representatives and CPPCC members.

Exchanges between China's national political advisers, who are also members of the China-Africa Friendship Group of the CPPCC National Committee established in 2019, and African representatives, were held on Wednesday.

Wang Min, vice-chairman of executive affairs at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the CPPCC National Committee and deputy head of the China-Africa Friendship Group, presided over the exchanges and said friendship between China and Africa has a long history.

Decades of cooperation have yielded many results, he said, adding that the construction of bridges, schools and other infrastructure has helped Africa's economic development and benefited people on both sides.

"It is meaningful for us to have exchanges on building a China-Africa community with a shared destiny in the new era", Wang said.

Cui Li, a member of CPPCC National Committee and also former vice-minister of the National Health Commission, said medical cooperation between China and Africa has been ongoing for 59 years.

About 22,000 Chinese medical workers have been sent to 49 African countries and have treated some 230 million patients over the decades, she said.

Efforts should be made to aid construction of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, to establish cooperative health projects on issues such as AIDS and malaria prevention, and maternal and child health services, she added.

Chang Zhenming, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and former chairman of the CITIC Group Corporation, said that Chinese companies have exported China's strengths and characteristics, and at the same time fully taken on local characteristics.

Zhou Shuchun, a member of the CPPCC National Committee and former publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, said the friendship between countries lies in the affinity between their people.

He called for cooperation and the integration of media and think tanks between the two sides, as well as the participation of young people.

Seven African representatives also shared their view of further cooperation.

Owen Chomanika, a parliamentarian from Malawi, said that his country seeks to maintain China as its largest trade partner in the years to come.

With direct Chinese investment in Africa exceeding $43.4 billion, Malawi seeks to become an emerging investment destination for Chinese companies, he said.

These investments will create jobs, accelerate Malawi's industrialization and advance economic development, promoting the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future, he added.

Dahi Laila, a Moroccan parliamentarian, said a new dynamic has been injected into China — Moroccan relations through the strategic partnership agreement signed in 2016.

She welcomed more forums and programs to create economic, political and security links between Africa and China.

"The workshop has been an eye opener for us and for the people of Africa and has promoted a new dawn for China-Africa cooperation," Salim Juma of Kenya's Mombasa County Assembly said.

Juma said he looks forward to more cooperation on scholarships, training and other programs.

LIU XI contributed to this story.

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