Lawmakers from China and three African countries exchanged opinions via video link on Thursday to deepen understanding on lifting people out of poverty and maintaining sustainable development.
The webinar was organized by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislative body, and was held between Chinese legislators and those from Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania.
Cao Jianming, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee, highlighted the importance of information sharing on poverty alleviation and economic growth during the outbreak, suggesting legislatures from China and the African nations keep in touch and increase cooperation.
Shi Liping, a national legislator from Guizhou province, shared her experience of helping residents get out of poverty through embroidery workshops.
As an inheritor of Miao embroidery in the province’s Songtao Miao autonomous county, Shi said many residents, especially women, have benefited from the workshops and related industries over the past few years.
“The better employment and increased incomes have helped lift them out of poverty, and what we are doing has also contributed to promoting our cultural inheritance,” she added.
Lauding the successful move, the African attendees said reducing the poor and promoting economic growth are also their goals, but how to reach the goals during the outbreak is a big challenge for them.
Ghada Ali from Egypt said her country’s poverty rate dropped to 29 percent last year from 32 percent in much earlier time, adding this was the first decline in 20 years.
But she said how to recover the economy and improve the working abilities of young people during the outbreak are still the most urgent challenges for her country.
“We’re also accelerating urban construction, such as reducing and improving shanty areas, because one of our goals of poverty alleviation is to remove all shanty houses across our nation by 2030,” she added.
Souvi Cheibany from Mauritania said they are making policies for supporting agricultural development in his country, because becoming self-sufficient, compared with only relying on imports, is more important to reduce poverty and keep sustainable economic growth.
The African participants called for more cooperation with China, adding the more sharing on what lawmakers could do to help eliminate poverty during the outbreak is also a necessity.
The many different trade and aid policies being pursued by China globally have been heavily criticised but can developing countries become more independent or will China’s policy reform?