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Sino-African ties ensure globalization is inclusive

By Lewis Ndichu | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-08-29 08:52
2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation opens in Beijing on Sept 3, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

The relations between China and Africa have been firmly institutionalized. This can be seen in the granting of full membership to the African Union Commission in the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the implementation of the AU-China strategic dialogue mechanism, the Dialogue on the Implementation of China-Africa Peace and Security, the China-Africa Defense and Security Forum and the implementation of follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit 2018.

Africa has made great strides in the implementation of the AU's Agenda 2063 flagship projects, which are seen as crucial to accelerating Africa's economic growth. These include the African Continental Free Trade Area; the New Partnership for Africa's Development, an economic development program of the African Union; and the African Peer Review Mechanism, an instrument voluntarily acceded to by the AU member states as a self-monitoring mechanism, within the FOCAC agenda.

China has increased technological transfer and training, encouraged innovation cooperation and development of regional value chains, supported African countries in cultivating more technical and management professionals, and promoted people-centered and sustainable partnership between China and Africa.

In June, 53 African countries and the African Union Commission held a meeting of coordinators in Beijing to advance the implementation of the follow-up actions of the FOCAC summit.

This will boost cooperation between China and Africa in the Belt and Road Initiative, the AU's Agenda 2063 and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Putting Sino-African relations into context, President Xi Jinping emphasized advancing high-quality Belt and Road partnership under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. This has provided more opportunities to Africa to engage in international cooperation and improve people's lives.

Various agreements were advanced at the meeting of coordinators.

First, China and Africa will employ better synergies in market development, project cooperation and intellectual support, including supporting Africa in building free trade zones, special economic zones, industrial parks, development of small and medium-sized enterprises, and development of entrepreneurship.

Second, building an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future will support the strategic vision of implementing the BRI. China and Africa will maintain the momentum of people-to-people exchanges and enhance strategic communication and experience-sharing on governance.

Third, to implement the followup actions of the Beijing summit, China and Africa will strengthen coordination on policies and mechanisms at the bilateral and multilateral levels, aimed at offering policy support for eight plans of action and the FOCAC-Beijing Action Plan (2019-21).

China and Africa also reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing cooperation in trade, finance, environmental protection, peace and security, and economic and social development.

China-Africa relations will ensure that economic globalization is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all, and will uphold developing nations' common interests.

To address the lack of a permanent institutional structure to serve as a follow-up mechanism, a step in the right direction would be the strengthening of engagement within the AU.

Thus, managing the partnership through well-established structures will go a long way toward enhancing the potential for more dialogue between Africa and China.

The author is a policy analyst coordinator at the Africa Policy Institute. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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