Any post-pandemic recovery should be focused on sustainability for both China and Africa, said Deng Li, assistant foreign minister of China, adding this will facilitate China-Africa cooperation and stimulate an economy rebound for the world at large.
More efforts could be made in such fields as health, investment and trade, industrialization, agricultural modernization, climate change and digital economy, Deng said. He made the remarks at the 10th China-Africa Think Tanks Forum, held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province from Oct 20 to 21.
In 2020, China”s direct investment to Africa rose to $2.96 billion, compared to $2.71 billion in 2019, even with the adverse investing environment due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Practical cooperation in the digital economy, public healthcare and urban facilities helped African countries ease the adverse impact of the virus. China also offered large-scale humanitarian support to African countries, including vaccines, medicines and trained personnel.
The think tankers’ forum brings together more than 200 political, academic, media and business representatives from China and 15 African countries, including South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, Madagascar and Liberia. It draws wide attention as a pre-conference for the upcoming session of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to be held in Senegal later this year, which, amid the still prevalent pandemic, is expected to focus on methods for fighting the pandemic, such as vaccine cooperation and introducing strategic policies to offset spillover effects.
Abdoulaye Diop, Senegal’s minister of culture and communication, said at the opening ceremony of the forum that with its close and fruitful cooperation, China has adhered to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which sets an example for international partnerships.
Diop said China and Africa, having common interests and aspirations, should come together to build a community with a shared future.
Since it was first held in 2000, FOCAC has played a key role in policy and stance coordination between China and Africa and witnessed dynamic and booming trade and investment between the two sides. The China-Africa Think Tanks Forum, first held in 2011 by the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University, is an important mechanism for building consensus and trust.