FOCAC: Africa, China commit to mutually beneficial cooperation

A consignment of personal protective equipment donated by China’s People’s Liberation Army is offloaded at Kigali International Airport on June 3. / Photos: Courtesy.

President Paul Kagame on Wednesday, June 17 joined Heads of State from across Africa and the Chinese leader for the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against Covid-19.

The meeting was co-hosted by South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Macky Sall of Senegal.

 

The meeting was held under the auspices of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

 

Speaking at the virtual meeting, Kagame said that the ongoing measures to support the African continent amidst the Covid-19 pandemic should have elements of mutual benefit for all parties involved.

 

Commending the support by China to the global and African scene through $2 billion pledge as well as involvement in the G20 debt relief initiative, Kagame added that the continent counts on the Asian nation’s support to ensure adequate fiscal space during this time.

“To be effective, these measures should be preferred as additional, so as not to affect existing and new programmes. It is also important to pursue this dialogue on a basis of mutual benefit,” he said.  

“The solidarity we have seen during this difficult time has once again demonstrated the productivity of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation,” he added.

Among the outcomes of the meeting was a commitment to support multilateralism, opposing unilateralism, safeguarding the UN-centered international system, and defending international equity and justice.

“We call on the international community to build an open world economy, enhance macroeconomic coordination, and jointly keep global industrial and supply chains stable and unclogged. We express strong support to the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” the joint resolutions of the meeting read in part.

Countries present also noted the growing importance of digitalization in the post-Covid-19 era and committed to support efforts to speed up the development of Africa’s digital economy and expand exchanges and cooperation on digitalization, information and communication technologies, especially tele-medicine, tele-education, and big data.

Countries also agreed to support efforts to explore with global partners trilateral or multilateral cooperation in Africa in a way that is active, open and inclusive and based on respect for African countries’ wishes, with a view to facilitating an early victory against Covid-19.

“We underscore the close relationship between peace, security and development, call on the international community to support Africa in implementing its “Silencing the Guns” campaign and urge for an early lifting of economic sanctions on the Republics of Zimbabwe and Sudan,” reads part of the resolutions.

Earlier this month, President Kagame had also made the same call, urging the international community to lift sanctions against the two states to help them adequately respond to the pandemic.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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