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China-Africa exchange on sustainable development initiated

By Edith Mutethya in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-12-08 14:29
[Photo/VCG]

The China Africa Institute on Saturday initiated the implementation of a sustainable development exchange mechanism, aimed at opening new exchange opportunities for Chinese and African think tanks.

Activities under the mechanism will seek to promote more China-Africa dialogues and mutual learning on sustainable development and cooperation for green, innovative and win-win development.

This is in addition to providing intellectual and talent support for building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.

A brief on the mechanism was issued to over 300 participants at the International Conference on Africa and China: Jointly Promoting Sustainable Development, held at the African Union headquarters in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, on Dec 7.

The conference was sponsored by the China-Africa Institute and the African Union Commission and organized by the commission's Department of Economic Affairs and the Bureau of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Wang Lei, the bureau's director-general, said the mechanism was the outcome and fruit of the conference.

Wang hoped that through the mechanism, there will be regular and well-structured communication and that CAI will be able to hold several trainings and professional seminars both in Africa and Beijing.

"We are open and eager to have active participants from our African counterpart institutions and the academic circles," he said adding that the China Africa Institute will fund the activities under the mechanism, which include joint research projects, training programs and high-level conferences.

The joint research projects will focus on topics such as poverty reduction, ecological and environmental protection, innovation and industrial development, as well as education, employment and urbanization.

The duration of the project will be one year. At the end, the joint team will be required to submit a research report and to publish their research either in journals or online.

Following the initiation of the mechanism, Chinese and African researchers were invited to make joint proposals to the institute for collaborative research projects.

On the trainings, CAI will organize a number of two-week training programs in China, each with 25 participants.

African government officials, researchers from think tanks and other experts will be invited to participate in these programs, to discuss topics ranging from leadership and capacity building in public sector, urban management and poverty alleviation to sustainable development.

Each year, the China Africa Institute will organize thematic conferences in cooperation with African academic institutions and think tanks, alternating between China and Africa.

Major sustainable development issues, such as economic transformation and development, free trade, ecological and environmental protection, natural resource management, urbanization and industrial development will be discussed at the conferences.

Experts from research institutions, policy-making departments and business sectors in China and Africa will be invited to attend the conferences and advise national governments and international organizations on the issues.

The establishment of the China Africa Institute was announced by President Xi Jinping during the 2018 Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, or FOCAC.

The institute is aimed at enhancing mutual learning between Chinese and African civilizations, as well as to strengthen exchanges of experiences in governance and development.

It seeks to provide intellectual and talent support for Belt and Road construction collaboration, and for the future comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Africa in building a community with a shared future.

The institute is under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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