China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation (2013)
Updated: 2013-08-29 14:04
V. Stressing African People's Livelihoods and Capacity Building
Africa has sustained rapid economic growth in recent years, but it still faces severe development problems and the difficult task of accomplishing the UN Millennium Development Goals. While seeking to advance its own development, China tries to offer what assistance it can to Africa without setting any political conditions, and to benefit African people through developmental advances. In recent years, China has implemented measures adopted at the FOCAC ministerial conferences, actively developed cooperation with Africa in areas relating to public amenities, medical and health care, climate change and environmental protection, humanitarian aid, and other fields. China has also strengthened cultural and educational exchanges and scientific and technological cooperation in an effort to improve Africa's ability to develop independently.
Helping build public amenities. China has offered assistance to Africa in digging wells for water supplies, and in building affordable housing, broadcasting and telecommunications facilities, and cultural and educational sites in an effort to improve the productive and living conditions of local people. Since 2009, China has carried out dozens of well-digging projects in the Sudan, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Guinea and Togo, playing a positive role in easing water problems for local people. It has also provided support for the building of portable dwellings in South Sudan, school houses in Benin, and rural schools in Malawi, and in doing so, improved local living conditions and educational facilities. China's largest aid project in the Central African Republic is the construction of the Boali No.3 Hydropower Station, which, after it is completed, will greatly relieve electricity shortages in Bangui and surrounding areas.
Advancing cooperation in medical and health care. From 2010 to 2012, China helped build 27 hospitals in Ghana, Zimbabwe and other African countries. China has also sent 43 medical teams to 42 African countries and regions, treating over 5.57 million patients. In recent years, in addition to building hospitals, donating drugs and organizing medical training programs, China has also launched an initiative, "Brightness Action," to treat cataract patients, provided mobile hospitals, built bilaterally-run eye centers, and helped build demonstration and training centers for diagnosis and treatment technologies, effectively advancing Sino-African cooperation in medical and health care.
Working together to address climate change. Environmental protection and climate change are two developmental topics that the world must face, and Africa needs special assistance from the international community in these areas. China pays a great deal of attention to its cooperation with African countries in the field of climate change. Since November 2009, China has carried out more than 100 clean energy projects in African countries, including biogas technology cooperation with Tunisia, Guinea and the Sudan, hydropower generating facilities in Cameroon, Burundi and Guinea, and solar and wind power generation in Morocco, Ethiopia and South Africa. China has also donated energy-efficient lamps, air conditioners and other materials in response to climate change to Nigeria, Benin and Madagascar. All of these measures have greatly raised the ability of African countries to respond to climate change.
Offering emergency humanitarian aid. In keeping with humanitarian values, China always offers what materials or cash it is able to give for emergency aid to African countries that suffer from political disorder or have experienced natural disasters. In 2011, China provided 50 million yuan in emergency aid to Tunisia and Egypt to ease the humanitarian crisis caused by refugees stranded in the areas bordering Libya. When a famine worst in 60 years broke out in the Horn of Africa in the same year, China provided the affected countries with emergency aid in the form of grain and cash. In total, this aid was worth more than 400 million yuan, the biggest amount of food aid that the Chinese government has provided since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. In 2012, China granted food aid to affected countries in the Sahel region of Africa.
Supporting cultural and educational exchanges. Cultural and educational exchanges make up an important part of the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa. By supporting young Africans studying in China, sending young Chinese volunteers to Africa and developing joint research initiatives, China tries to promote mutual understanding between China and African countries and strengthen the social foundation of their friendship. From 2010 to 2012, China granted 18,743 government scholarships to students from African countries. By the end of 2012, China had sent 408 young volunteers to 16 African countries, including Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Twenty pairs of leading Chinese and African universities have begun cooperating under the 20+20 Cooperation Plan for Chinese and African Universities. From the launch of China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Plan in March 2010 to the end of 2012, it had supported 64 projects in the form of workshops, subject research, academic exchanges, and publishing works. The project had also subsidized visits and exchanges for over 600 Chinese and African scholars.
Holding human resource training programs. Human resource training is an important part of capacity building. From 2010 to 2012, China held various training courses for 54 countries and regions in Africa; the courses involved a total of 27,318 officials and technicians, and covered topics relating to economics, foreign affairs, energy, industry, agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fishing, medicine and health care, inspection and quarantine, climate change, security, and some other fields. In addition, Chinese medical teams, agricultural experts and enterprises located in Africa have also trained local people in an effort to enhance local technological capabilities.
Upgrading China-Africa cooperation in science and technology. In 2009, China launched the China-Africa Science and Technology Partnership Plan. This plan aims to promote technology transfer to Africa and research exchanges, as well as the sharing of more scientific and technological achievements. By the end of 2012, China had cooperated with African countries on 115 joint research and technology demonstration projects, including projects relating to cashew pest control technology and resources satellite receiving stations. China also gave 66 African researchers the chance to do post-doctoral research in China and donated 150,000 yuan worth of research equipment to each of the 24 researchers who had returned to their home countries to work upon completing their joint research tasks in China. In December 2011, the Chinese government launched the Science and Technology Action for African People's Livelihood, strengthening its cooperation with Africa through scientific and technological means. It also declared that it would help build a "mobile and modular general clinic" and a "demonstration center for scientific and technological cooperation in gastroenterology" to each African FOCAC member country.
Reducing African debt. From 2010 to 2012, China canceled 16 debts owed by Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire and other countries, greatly reducing the debts of African countries.