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As 3rd China-Africa Local Govt. Cooperation Forum Ends in Beijing…

VP Wang says China invests US$170bn in Africa

May 9, 2018 By Joseph S. Margai in Beijing, China

Chinese and African officials participated in a panel discussion on how to reduce poverty

Vice President of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Qishan, has revealed that China has currently invested the sum of US$170 billion on trade in Africa.

Wang Qishan, who was speaking at the 3rd Forum on China-Africa Local Government Cooperation (CALGC) at the Capital Hotel in Beijing on Tuesday (8th May, 2018), also revealed that last year alone China provided training for 150,000 professionals from various fields in African countries.

“China also provided scholarships for 20,000 African students to study in China and that the import of goods from Africa to China grows to 32%,” revealed Wang.

The CALGC, which was organised by the Chinese-African People’s Friendship Association and hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, was themed ‘Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development.’

The Chinese VP said poverty reduction is a common goal of China and Africa, adding that local government exchanges between China and Africa is vital for the development of the continent.

He noted that China is ready to relieve Africa from poverty as the Chinese government has been encouraging Chinese enterprises to invest in Africa.

“The Chinese government has constructed cultural parks, roads and railways, hospitals and trained medical staff, invested in agriculture, education, energy, among others, in some African countries,” he said.

Like African countries, Wang said China is also a developing country and that even though the Chinese government has lifted 700 million Chinese out of poverty, over 30 million people still live in poverty.

To reduce that figure, he continued, the government has committed itself to lifting at least 10 million people out of poverty every year.

He said that through the two-day forum, China and African countries could develop plans to reduce poverty by both sides.

He recommended that in order to alleviate poverty the two sides should strengthen their governance experience, deepen industrial production and cooperation using green, low carbon and sustainable approach, training of personnel and deepening their local development and cooperation strategy.

Prime Minister of Niger, Brigi Rafini, remarked that China has awakened and the whole world is delighted, noting that China is a force for peace and will undoubtedly bring stability to mankind.

“Our presence in this forum reflects the importance China attaches to African countries. We need mutual learning and cooperation in order to enhance development in Africa. And to achieve the theme of this forum, the people of both countries must be placed at the centre of our development agenda,” he said.

Premier Rafini also said training professionals would enhance development in African countries, and called on the Chinese to strengthen cooperation between local government of African countries and China.

Former Prime Minister of Tanzania, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim, remarked that local government representation is a building block for people’s governance and called on both sides to make development a people-centred one.

He remarked that China has always been a reliable, durable and dependent friend of Africa and that that is why as Africans they are always rejoicing in the progress that China is making in the world.

Wang Yong, Vice President, China-Africa Development Fund, said China is investing in 92 projects in Africa, totalling the sum of US$4.6 billion.

He noted that the projects include infrastructure, production capacity and agriculture, among other areas.

“There are currently US$23 billion Chinese investments in Africa and it is hope that investments would create 70,000 jobs for locals in African countries. These investments are in automobile, industrial parks, power plants, grain storage facilities, cash crops, all of which have increased economic growth in those countries,” he revealed.

Minister of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, Liu Yongfu, said China has embarked on massive poverty reduction campaign, adding that it was the first developing country to realise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Liu said that by 2020, China would be able to lift, if not all, but many people out of poverty as the Chinese government has increased development in poverty stricken communities in China.

Minister Liu Yongfu said that every year the sum of one trillion RMB is invested in country-side poverty reduction and that 10 million people in inhospitable environment would soon be relocated.

“China and Africa share similar historic experience and we should work together to also reduce poverty in Africa,” he said.

South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Obed Bapela, said poverty, unemployment and inequality remain major challenges in his country and called for support to eradicate these menaces which are hindering poverty alleviation.

He said the state should act where enterprises fail but most of the funds from central government in most African countries are not enough for local government to roll out strategic plans to reduce poverty.

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