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Boosting agriculture in Africa

By HONG XIAO at the United Nations | China Daily USA | Updated: 2018-10-30 23:09
File photo: Agricultural officials from Ethiopia are shown an irrigation facility in Beijing's Daxing district on Aug 10. The group was part of a study tour jointly organized by the World Bank and the Foreign Economic Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Xu Wei / China Daily

China's role on continent is focus of case studies at United Nations

China's role in providing agricultural assistance to Africa was the focus of case studies at the United Nations on Monday.

Ahunna Eziakonwa, assistant administrator and director of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa, especially commended the willingness of China "to share their experiences on agriculture transformation with Africa, particularly Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique in this case".

"This initiative should be complemented with technology transfer, enhanced knowledge and experience-sharing, particularly in addition to agriculture products, corridors to accelerate economic diversification on and industrialization in Africa," she said at the launch of the case studies on the experience and innovation of China's agricultural assistance in Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.

The event was co-organized by China's International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and the UNDP.

CIDCA Vice-Chairman Deng Boqing of the China International Development Cooperation Agency introduced the case studies.

In September, President Xi Jinping announced at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing that China will work with Africa to implement a program of action to promote China-Africa cooperation on agricultural modernization.

China will introduce 50 agricultural assistance programs, provide RMB 1 billion of emergency humanitarian food assistance to African countries affected by natural disasters, send 500 senior agriculture experts to Africa, and train entrepreneurs in agribusiness.

"These initiatives will promote agricultural development in Africa countries; increase production of food and cash crops; increase farmers' incomes; improve agricultural production and management capacity and improve food security," Deng said.

Deng said China is committed to promoting agricultural and rural development in developing countries, especially in Africa, putting poverty alleviation as a priority for foreign aid.

He said China's agricultural aid in Mozambique and Guinea Bissau is one of China's signature initiatives in Africa.

Chinese envoy to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu said Africa is home to the largest number of developing countries.

"The implementation of the SDGs faces serious challenges," Ma said. "The international community should increase its sense of urgency, focusing on helping African countries, and accelerate the implementation of the widespread concerns for poverty and hunger elimination, infrastructure construction and sustainable industrialization," he said.

Ma said China's role in supporting countries in accelerating development under the framework of South-South Cooperation has continuously grown over the past half-century.

Since 2008, the UNDP and China cooperated to both expose Chinese institutions to international development practices as well as share China's development experiences with other countries.

With the establishment of the CIDCA, China has taken significant steps to further cement its international engagement in development cooperation.

Ma said that delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development calls for expanded partnerships.

The event was followed with an exhibition featuring publications, project videos, photos and stories of beneficiaries from the early recovery projects funded by the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund as well as UNDP China's 40th anniversary highlights.

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